Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Forestry (MS)

Administrative Home Department

College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Advisor 1

Mark Rudnicki

Committee Member 1

Chelsea Schelly

Committee Member 2

Matthew Kelly


This research investigates how the local community grants social license to the forest products industry in Houghton County, Michigan. Interviews were conducted with industry and community stakeholders using a snowball sampling method to understand perspectives on the social license continuum. The viability of supply chains and individual industry sectors associated with forest resources in the county are largely governed by macroeconomics. However, there is a very local component that allows individual corporations to operate within the community. The data analysis, based on the interviews, focuses on understanding local perceptions of natural resource management and community relations. The results reflect social license has a spatial variation that allows local industry a higher degree of license than non-local. With an absence of community engagement and emerging forms of stakeholder communication in Houghton County, the social license possessed by the forest products industry could be vulnerable to disturbances that may accompany changes in operations.