This article reports on the relationship between measures of farmers' conservation attitudes and motivations on the one hand, and their self-reported and observed management of windbreaks and woodlots on the other. The study was conducted on historic farms where tenureship is, on average, over four generations. A survey instrument assessed farmers' attitudes about farming, the benefits of using trees on farms, the aesthetics of the rural landscape, motivation and their self-reported conservation practices. An analysis of landscape patterns on respondents' farms was conducted by analysis of aerial photography. Findings suggest that a conventional, externally motivated approach to farming results in reduced use of farm woodlots and windbreaks. In contrast, an approach based upon aesthetic and intrinsic forces is predictive of increased use and maintenance of woodlots and windbreaks. It is suggested that the promotion of conservation practices on farms may benefit from subtle, non-economic interventions as well as from financial and regulatory approaches.
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"In this line of inquiry non-monetary valuation and individual preferences for preservation are typically important driver in who enrolls in voluntary programs (Breetz and others 2005; Kendra and Hull 2005; Ross-Davis and others 2005). Landowners do appear to value the importance of amenity benefits and the aesthetic quality of particular conservation activities, rather than purely the economic incentives provided (Erickson and de Young 1992; Koontz 2001; Ryan and others 2003). Attitudes about conservation goals and environmental protection in general increase levels of participation (Söderqvist 2003; Koontz and others 2004). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of voluntary programs targeting resource conservation on private land has become increasingly prevalent in environmental policy. Voluntary programs potentially offer significant benefits over regulatory and market-based approaches. This article examines the factors affecting landowner participation in voluntary forest conservation programs using a combination of parcel-level GIS and remotely sensed data and semi-structured interviews of landowners in Monroe County, Indiana. A logistic regression model is applied to determine the probability of participation based on landowner education, membership in other non-forest voluntary programs, dominant land use activity, parcel size, distance from urban center, land resource portfolios, and forest cover. Both land use activity and the spatial configuration of a landholder's resource portfolio are found to be statistically significant with important implications for the design and implementation of voluntary programs.
"Research specifically on the attitudes of farmers and ranchers (Erickson and DeYoung 1992-3; Reading and Clark 1993; Sullivan et al 1996) confirms that landowner attitudes generally predict behavior (Kraus 1995). These recent studies also confirm the work of Stephen Kellert, who has shown over the years that farmers and ranchers tend to possess utilitarian and negativistic attitudes toward the environment, especially when they feel threatened or imposed upon. "
"Although these ecosystems may be small relative to the aquatic systems they abut, they perform many important ecosystem services, including shading (thus buffering air and water temperature), retaining nutrients and/or sediments, stabilizing stream banks and littoral zones, and providing organic material (leaves, wood) and critical habitat for a diverse community of plant and animal species (Malanson 1993). Riparian zones are highly variable systems whose structure and composition are shaped by geomorphology, vegetation patterns, disturbance regimes (Décamps 1996), as well as current (Erickson and DeYoung 1993) and perhaps historic land use practices (Foster et al. 2003). Processes that operate over a large range of temporal and spatial scales control these structuring factors. "