Understanding Socio-economic Change and Implications for the Future of the Bridger-Teton National Forest

Our student research team has been working with the Bridger-Teton National Forest to help inform their efforts for a future Forest Management Plan. The team has been compiling socioeconomic data related to the shifting demographics of three very different counties in western Wyoming as well as researching academic literature in the fields of geography, sociology, and economics which relate to the interplay between public lands and local communities. This project explores the paradoxes and tensions that lay in the heart of the West’s ongoing demographic shift and the role of public lands in the transition from the “Old” to the “New” West. The data, analysis, and annotated bibliography is intended to be used by the Bridger-Teton National Forest in future efforts to convene stakeholders when initiating the Forest Plan Revision process.


US Forest Service | Website

Project Deliverable

See “The Shifting West” story map here. This story map primarily informed the Forest Service, but may be used with a broader audience in years to come.

Student Researchers


Erik Anderson, Research Assistant | Erik is a joint-degree candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and the Yale School of Divinity. Growing up in the in a small town in the foothills of Mount Rainier, he spent many hours hunting, fishing, and tramping in the woods around a family farm, exposing him to the beauty and complexity of the natural world from a young age. While at Yale, he is focusing on the intersection between spirituality, responsible business development, and sustainable land-use in the West. He is a leader of the Western Student Interest Group at FES, member of the organizing committee on the Graduate Conference in Religion and Ecology, and a member of the Yale Graduate Crew Team. See what Erik has been up to.  |   Blog


Julia Sullivan, Research Assistant | Julia is a Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Her academic interests include water resource management and land use, and she is currently working with Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming to assess the socioeconomic impacts of the forest-planning process. Prior to attending Yale F&ES, Julia worked in conservation for four years–both in the non-profit sector and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama. She holds a dual-degree in Environmental Studies and International Studies from American University in Washington, DC. See what Julia has been up to.  |  Blog