WikiJournal Preprints/“It’s all about people skills”: Perspectives on the social license of the forest products industry from rural North America

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Authors: William Lytle[a][i], Chelsea Schelly[a]

William Lytle; Chelsea Schelly, ""It's all about people skills": Perspectives on the social license of the forest products industry from rural North America", WikiJournal Preprints, Wikidata Q104049454


This research investigates the existing social license and the processes of achieving and articulating social license between a rural community in the northern Midwestern United States community and the forest products industry, based on interviews with both industry and community stakeholders. Perceptions of natural resource management and community relations are highly related to the community’s history with industries, relationships with place, and perspectives on valuable work. The results suggest that social license varies spatially, and it is the place-based context that allows local industry to have a higher degree of license than non-local industry actors. Thus, social license is spatially contingent, based on particular socio-spatial and historical contexts. In this paper, we articulate how these spatial and historical contextualization shapes perceptions of acceptable operating practices. This paper offers refinement of the concept of social license while also considering how natural resource based industries can successfully meet evolving management challenges.

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