The health and quality of life of Puget Sound residents is partially dependent on their ability to collect local resources for ceremonial, subsistence and recreation foods. Moniting the frequency with which residents do so, and how this varies by geography and demographics, can help managers understand where to prioritize efforts to protect or educate about the health of local foods.
Oregon State University Human Dimensions Lab
Data are collected every 2 years via paper survey to a random sample of Puget Sound households. The population chosen for this survey was a clustered random sample of Puget Sound residents, with an initial sample of 9,000. Due to undeliverable addresses, the total sample reached was 8,261 individuals. The response rate was 28 percent for a total of 2,323 individual responses. Results are reported as the frequency that Puget Sound residents engage in local food harvesting.
About 75 percent of survey participants gave their cross-streets, which allowed mapping of human wellbeing metrics at a fine scale. The map above shows the location of each individual respondent. Hot Spot Analysis (Getis-Ord Gi* statistic) was used to visualize clusters of responses that were significantly higher (red, hot spots) and lower (blue, cold spots) relative to those around them.
The majority of Puget Sound residents do not harvest local foods. The mean response was 4.45, which equates to halfway between rarely (1-2 times per season) and never. Specifically, fewer than 10% of people harvest deer, elk or waterfowl. Fewer than 35% of people harvest fish or shellfish. Plants, berries and mushrooms are more likely to be harvested, with about 60% of the population collecting at least one time per season.
While on average, all counties harvested local foods rarely or between rarely and never, respondents from San Juan and Mason counties tended to harvest local foods more frequently relative to those around them (red, hot spots in map above). Respondents from eastern Puget Sound, particularly King and Pierce counties, tended to harvest local foods less frequently than those around them (blue, cold spots).
Those that harvest the least common local foods (waterfowl, deer, and elk) also tend to harvest the most frequent food (plants, berries and mushrooms). As such, we can consider a summation of all local foods harvesting as an index for this Vital Sign.
Regression analysis to determine demographic predictors of the local foods index had a very low R2 (.098), meaning that demographics could only describe about 10 percent of the variation in responses. Based on similar types of research, other factors likely include, but cannot be demonstrated through these data, prior experience with local food harvesting, being connected to friends who harvest, and individual personality traits. That said, according to the regression model, demographics of respondents that were more likely to harvest local foods were male, older, had lived in the region longer, were from more rural areas, and had fewer years of education.
The Puget Sound Partnership believes in the transparency and accessibility of the data used to address progress measures. These data are provided by contributing partners to the Partnership and are made publicly available through the Puget Sound Info site. These data are available on an "as is" basis and the Partnership is not responsible for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies. Please acknowledge the monitoring program and data source when using these data and obtain permission from the indicator lead to use these data in a publication.
Never, Rarely (1-2 times a season), Occasionally (3-5 times a season), Regularly (6-8 times a season), Frequently (More than 10 times a season)