Landowners' perceptions on coordinated wildlife and groundwater management in the Edwards Plateau

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Title: Landowners' perceptions on coordinated wildlife and groundwater management in the Edwards Plateau
Author: Limesand, Craig Milton
Abstract: Since Texas contains less than 5 % public land , private landowners are critical to the success of environmental management initiatives in the state . This has implications for resources that traverse property boundaries , such as wildlife and groundwater . Texas landowners are increasingly capitalizing on the income potential of fee -based hunting , and many have banded together to form Wildlife Management Associations (WMAs ) . Not only can such landowner associations enhance the coordination of resource management decisions , they also have the potential to increase social capital , which is reflected by interpersonal trust , reciprocity and civic participation . To improve the management of common -pool resources it is important to understand the relationship between social capital and coordinated resource management because long -term community stability and resource sustainability appear to be highly correlated . A 600 -landowner mail survey (with 48 .1 % response ) was conducted in the Edwards Plateau region of Texas to compare the land management characteristics and social capital of landowners who are members of WMAs with non -member landowners . The goal of this research was to determine how WMA membership , property size , and location affect levels of social capital and interest in cooperative resource management . It was hypothesized that members , large landowners , and northern landowners would be more interested in cooperative management and exhibit higher social capital . While WMA members and large -property owners were more involved in wildlife management than non -members and small -property owners , this interest in resource management did not carry over to groundwater . These groups were not more involved in groundwater management activities , and all survey groups were disinterested in joining private cooperatives for groundwater marketing . Social capital differences were more evident between large - and small -property owners than between WMA members and non -members . Members scored higher only on community involvement , while large owners scored higher on community involvement as well as trust . These results suggest that WMA membership per se does not significantly increase social capital among Edwards Plateau landowners , but do not necessarily refute the importance of social capital within WMAs . Differences in trust between members were positively correlated with increased communication and meeting frequency , suggesting ways WMAs can improve intra -association social capital .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /4394
Date: 2006-10-30

Citation

Landowners' perceptions on coordinated wildlife and groundwater management in the Edwards Plateau. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /4394 .

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