Wildlife and water: collective action and social capital of selected landowner associations in Texas

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Title: Wildlife and water: collective action and social capital of selected landowner associations in Texas
Author: Wagner, Matthew Wayne
Abstract: In Texas , landowner associations for the management of common -pool resources such as wildlife and groundwater have become increasingly popular . Successful management of white -tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus ) depends upon the collective decision -making of landowners . Likewise , aquifer reserves are a trans -boundary resource subject to the "rule of capture ." Numerous factors may affect the success of common -pool associations , including property ownership and habitat characteristics , landowner demographics , and social capital . I used a mail questionnaire to explore the relationship between these factors and their effect on association activities and management practices for eight Wildlife Management Associations (WMAs ) occurring within the Lower Post Oak Savannah (LPOS ) and the Central Post Oak Savannah (CPOS ) . In addition , I compared responses of members of WMAs in CPOS to members of the Brazos Valley Water Alliance (BVWA ) , a groundwater association situated in the region . Compared to CPOS , members of WMAs within the LPOS belonged to much larger groups , were generally more recent landowners that met more often , raised more money using more funding methods , and tended to have longer association membership than CPOS landowners , yet they had lower social capital . CPOS landowners owned significantly more land and considered relaxation /leisure and hunting more important land uses than LPOS landowners . The smaller group size in CPOS may be the most important factor in building social capital . Intra -association trust was positively influenced by the longevity of property ownership , the number of association meetings , the percentage of males in the association , and other factors . Negative influences on trust included absentee ownership and Habitat Cover Index , which was a measure of the amount of wooded habitat present . In CPOS , members of the BVWA were part of a much larger , more heterogeneous , and more recently formed group than members of WMAs . They also placed greater importance on utilitarian aspects of their properties , as opposed to land stewardship for conservation as practiced by members of WMAs . If associations are kept small ( < 50 ) with more frequent meetings , greater social capital and information sharing may be achieved , which may lead to increased land stewardship practices . However , landowners may be motivated more by their shared values independent of any benefit from their association .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /4725
Date: 2007-04-25

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Wildlife and water: collective action and social capital of selected landowner associations in Texas. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /4725 .

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