How do people interact with forests?
People have used forests for tens of thousands of years – for everything from recreation and inspiration to industry and employment.
The way we each perceive the environment depends on the values we associate with it. Our values are constructed largely through factors such as culture and tradition, where we grew up, what sort of education we received, the values of our parents and community, the time in history in which we live, how we earn our living and what the media presents to us.
If we seek to understand the values and perceptions that different people bring to a discussion of the environment, we need to understand what it is that influences the particular way they think and feel about the world around them.
Even though we gather together and look in the same direction at the same instant, we will not – cannot – see the same landscape. We may certainly agree that we will see many of the same elements – houses, roads, trees and hills … but such facts take on meaning only through association … any landscape is composed not only of what lies before our eyes but what lies in our heads.
– D.W. Meinig 1979