In the current issue of Rangeland Ecology & Management, the article “Conservation Program Participation and Adaptive Rangeland Decision-Making” examines ranchers’ involvement in a social–ecological context. Conservation programs are just one strategy ranchers might choose to manage their land in a manner that promotes productivity and health.
More than 500 California ranchers returned mailed surveys in this study. Ranchers were asked about their awareness of, participation in, and attitude toward various conservation programs using a range of behavioral responses. With this information, a multinomial logit model was used to estimate the importance of different variables on rancher involvement in conservation programs.
This study examined four key variables:
- operator and operation characteristics, including whether the land is privately owned or publicly leased, and the education and income of the operator;
- time horizon, meaning the number of family generations who have managed the land and whether an inheritance plan is in place;
- social network connections, describing to what degree ranchers communicate and provide leadership and opinions in their communities; and
- social values, including views on property rights, the government’s role in protecting private property, and trust in government involvement in conservation.
Full text of the article “Conservation Program Participation and Adaptive Rangeland Decision-Making” in this issue of Rangeland Ecology and Management, Vol. 66, No. 6, November 2013, is now available.