Examining Landowner Attitudes and Behavior Towards Wildlife Management on Private Land in North Carolina

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Title: Examining Landowner Attitudes and Behavior Towards Wildlife Management on Private Land in North Carolina
Author: Daley, Salinda Siobhan
Advisors: Peter Bromley, Co-Chair
David Cobb, Co-Chair
Clyde Sorenson, Committee member, Member
Ron Wimberley, Committee member, Member
Abstract: In the United States, where private land predominates, most conservation and management efforts have focused on publicly owned land, likely due to conflicting traditions of private property rights, public ownership of wildlife, and state regulation of wildlife. At present, property rights are increasingly juxtaposed with stewardship responsibilities and there is increasing pressure to blend public and private land management. In the southeastern United States, early successional habitats have declined considerably in recent years, amidst rising growth and development rates. In accordance with the recognition of declining wildlife populations associated with early successional habitat and the need for influence over habitat on private land, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission established the Cooperative Upland Habitat and Enhancement (CURE) Program in August 2000. The program targets private landowners in three select regions of the state (Upper Coastal Plain I, Upper Coastal Plain II, Western Piedmont). Human dimensions survey research was conducted in the three CURE Programming areas in order to: 1) validate either a regional or statewide approach to promoting and implementing the CURE Program; and 2) recommend pertinent programming changes relative to the suggested approach. Survey results confirmed previous research conducted on private landowner attitudes and behavior regarding wildlife, which suggested differences in population subsets warrant tailored approaches to wildlife programming. Regional differences were found among the majority of variables examined in the survey. Regional differences were most pronounced across area (rural vs. urban), occupational (production vs. non production land), income, and land-use variables. Though Coastal Plain landowners did not express as much support for wildlife values or responsibility wildlife as Western Piedmont landowners did, they appeared more likely to participate in CURE Programming, due to familiarity with incentives-based agency programs. Notwithstanding regional variability, the typical landowner who is actively managing for wildlife is a male who is involved in land production, and who lives on or very near to his property. Programming efforts must be geared toward the varied land-use and occupational characteristics of the CURE Program regions. While a 'top-down' approach (offering specific enhancement practices coupled with economic incentives) will be most cost effective in the Coastal Plain, wildlife programming in the Western Piedmont region will likely require a 'bottom-up' approach of soliciting individual or small groups of landowners to work with the NCWRC in a highly cooperative and personalized manner.
Date: 2002-04-10
Degree: MS
Discipline: Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/2676

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