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Yaser Mohammadi, Vahid Etemad,
Volume 2, Issue 1 (9-2015)

Rural households’ involvement in forest conservation and reforestation depends on their perception towards forest perceived benefit which is attributed to demographic characteristics of the households head. In order to test this hypothesis, a study was run on rural households surrounded by Chahartagh forest reserve (N=600) which its livelihood was based on forest resources. About 196 rural households were determined as the research sample using Cochran’s formula through Simple random sampling procedure. Also, a researcher-designed questionnaire was used to collect data which its content validity confirmed by expert opinions and its reliability confirmed by Cronbach alpha coefficient. Collected data were analyzed by two software of IBMSPSS21 and LISREL8.5. The results showed that rural households’ perceptions towards forest are directly related to benefits they perceived from the forest. Perceptions towards forest benefits was summarized into three categories of perceptions towards forest economic, environmental and social benefits which economic benefit was recognized as the most important benefit perceived by respondents. From rural households’ perspective, the income gained from timber and non-timber products were the most important economic benefits of forests. Structural equation modeling results also revealed that rural household’ perception towards forest benefits differ among rural households according to their demographic characteristics. It observed that the younger, higher literacy level, had the higher income level and also, they had the more positive perception toward forest benefit. Also, each household’s head that was member of rural local institutions, had a corporation with NGOs and had participation into active groups to conserve forests had more positively perceived forest benefits.

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