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Understanding Stakeholder Values Using Cluster Analysis
The K-Means and Ward’s Clustering procedures were used to categorize value similarities among the respondents of a public land management survey. The clustering procedures resulted in two respondent groupings: an anthropocentrically focused group and an ecocentrically focused group. While previous studies have suggested that anthropocentric and ecocentric groups were very different, this study revealed many similarities. Similarities between groups included a strong feeling towards public land and national forest existence, as well as the importance of considering both current and future generations when making management decisions for public land. As a result, it is recommended that land managers take these similarities into account when making management decisions. It is also important to note that the Ward’s procedure for clustering produced more consistent groupings than the K-Means procedure. Therefore, the Ward’s procedure is recommended over the K-Means procedure when clustering survey data. The K-Means procedure only showed consistency with datasets of over 500 observations.
Cluster analysis, Ward’s hierarchy method, K-Means, public land management, stakeholders, ecocentric anthropocentric
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