Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Dr. Michael McClain,

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dr. Walter Peacock

Third Advisor's Name

Dr. Bradley Bennett

Fourth Advisor's Name

Dr. David Bray

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study was to compare outcomes in forms of riparian zone land use between a native and a colonist community of the Palcazu basin in Peru. Data were gathered through a survey of 79 settler households and an ethnographic study. The results showed that riparian zones are highly valued for the conservation of fertile lowland soils by both communities. Statistical tests showed that riparian land use practices (including non-riparian land use) in both communities are similar; only significant differences were found in the percentage of protection fringe forested, in the area of riparian zone under use and in the importance of riparian zones for the householders.

Contextual circumstances in both communities are similar and markets are distant. My research also suggests that there is nothing inherent in the culture of either Yanesha peoples or colonists that leads them to open more or less agricultural land.




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