Hunter recruitment and retention could be improved by securing public hunting access to private properties, especially for members of the public without means to purchase hunting lands of their own. However, private landowner participation in such “walk-in access” (WIA) rely on the willingness of landowners to relinquish partial control over lands that are often invested with emotional or utilitarian significance. To persuade landowners to open their lands and resources to the public, it is first necessary to gain a deeper understanding of what internal factors will most effectively impact their intent to do so. We conducted a self-administered mail-back questionnaire of private landowners in Minnesota with properties eligible for or enrolled in the state’s WIA program, and data were analyzed through linear modeling using multi-item variables constructed from individual survey items. We based our variables upon factors demonstrated through previous research to be integral to landowners' conservation decision-making, and used hierarchical regression to measure the influence of place attachment and trust variables on landowner attitudes. Landowners' land ethic and willingness to trust exerted significant positive influence on their attitudes toward WIA, while place dependence negatively impacted landowner attitudes. Future studies may consider further measurement and analysis of subjects’ land ethic and willingness to trust in order to corroborate whether these factors can serve as powerful and reliable predictors of attitudes.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. June 2019. Major: Natural Resources Science and Management. Advisor: David Fulton. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 83 pages.
Salcido ,Evan Louis.
Private landownership and Walk-In Access program enrollment: Motivating factors of landowner attitudes and participatory decision-making.
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