Second Home Development in the Northern Forest

The Center for the Environment has been involved in a research project to analyze the social, economic, and ecological effects of second home development in the Northern Forest region. Second home ownership is a prevalent land use in the region. Working with Cornell University, University of Vermont, University of Maine, and Penn State University, the project focused on:

  1. Describing the distribution of recreational homes,
  2. Identifying the causes of recreational home growth and create forecasting models,
  3. Identifying social, ecological, and economic effects,
  4. Using this information to help policy makers develop responsive programs to help maintain the northwoods region’s imagery and enhance regional well-being.

Brian Eisenhauer and graduate student Christian Weber conducted a survey of home owners in Pittburg, NH, one of the communities selected for in-depth study. Qualitative and quantitative fieldwork was conducted. Through the survey, data were collected to assess permanent and recreational home owner’s landscape meanings, attachment, demand for services, community participation, and other variables.