Humboldt Journal of Social Relations


In 2017, Carol Colfer revisited the communities of Bushler Bay and Hood View on the Olympic Peninsula, where she had spent three years doing ethnographic research in the 1970s. The purposes were two-fold: to test several rapid rural appraisal techniques and, as emphasized here, to assess the changes that had taken place in the interim. The ultimate goal was to contribute to USFS efforts to collaborate more effectively with women and men in forest communities. Her findings suggest that changes occurred in three (or more) spheres: livelihoods, demography, and gender relations, each of which is discussed below for each time period. Striking changes include the reduction in logging with a concomitant shift toward tourism, the demographic shift to a more elderly population (many of whom are now ‘amenity migrants’), and a reduction in conflict and hostility between men and women and between ‘Locals’ and the USFS, some of which is replaced by dismissal and social distance between longtime residents and newcomers/environmentalists. The penultimate section discusses the losses and gains sustained by different elements within the communities; and the conclusions argue for the integration of the kind of information contained herein – complemented by ongoing facilitation – to strengthen truly adaptive, collaborative management of U.S. forests.