Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Resource Conservation (International Conservation and Development)

Department or School/College

College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

Steve Siebert

Commitee Members

Jill Belsky, Laurie Yung


community forestry, forest tenure, hill tribe, Thailand


University of Montana


Forest tenure and the acquisition of land deeds for forest dwellers in Thailand remain problematic and inconsistent. The Royal Forestry Department (RFD) governs state forests in this politically decentralized country, with the state parlimentary government drafting, sometimes conflicting policies, to resolve conflict with forest dwellers. This study was conducted in the predominantly ethnic Black Lahu village of Huai Lu Luang in the Chiang Rai province. The village resides on RFD land designated as a forest reserve. With the possibility of the enactment of a parliamentary based community forestry bill, establishment of an RFD Mae Kok River Basin National Park, or the procurement of a chanod chumcon (community land deed), Huai Lu Luang’s current de facto land use rights are tenuous. This research incorporated Elinor Ostrom’s (2002) framework of resource and resource user attributes for successful self-governance of common pool resource management, as a means of evaluating the feasibility of community-based management of Huai Lu Luang’s community forest. Methods included participant observations, survey interviews, and key informant interviews from September to October 2010. The 32 survey interviews were selected through non-probability sampling to include an equal number of male and female interviewees in three age categories of 18-34, 35-50, and 50+, with two additional interviewees to represent the Akha and Yellow Lahu minorities in the village. Research results indicate that Huai Lu Luang complies strongly to very strongly with 73% of Ostrom’s attributes and moderately with 27%. Resource attributes indicate that Huai Lu Luang’s community forest has the capacity for feasible improvement, the predictable flow of resource units, and a manageable spatial extent. Huai Lu Luang appropriators exhibit governance capabilities, a high dependency on community forest resources, and a significant sense of village trust and unity. The community forest design is also appropriate to the local conditions time, space, ecology, and technology. This research indicates that Huai Lu Luang village is capable of successfully self-governing their community forest on a sustainable basis, suggesting that Huai Lu Luang is a strong candidate for a chanod chumchom.



© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Beth Roberts