عنوان مقاله [English]
In country development, the cooperative system is considered as an efficient tool for providing the ground of people participation. For this reason, cooperative forestry in maintaining and restoring forest areas may ultimately be important for rural development. The purpose of this research was to study the impact of forestry cooperatives on forest rural development in Golestan province. The study population consisted of 428 regular members and the board of forestry cooperatives in Golestan province which 156 of them were selected using classified random sampling. A questionnaire was used for data collection. Validity of the questionnaire was confirmed by expert’s insights and its reliability was assessed by calculating Cronbach's alpha coefficient for the rate of participation of the cooperatives’ members (α=0.712) and the cooperatives’ impact on rural development (α=0.783). Results indicated that members' participation in cooperatives’ affairs varies from too low to medium. Also, the impact of forestry cooperatives on rural development can be assessed as low. However, the relationship between the members’ participation in the cooperatives and the effect of cooperatives on rural development is strong and positive. The results of path analysis showed that among aspects of the members' participation in forestry cooperatives, participation in benefit sharing has the greatest effect on rural development. But in terms of the total direct and indirect effects of variables, participation in implementation has had the greatest impact on rural development. Using participation of members of cooperatives in all forestry cooperatives’ affairs and more effort to increase the income of cooperatives’ members are the suggestions of present study.