Perpetual private land conservation: the case for outdoor recreation and functional leisure
James R. Farmer, Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies, Indiana University; School of Public Health, Indiana University; Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University
Jacob C. Brenner, Ithaca College
Michael Drescher, School of Planning, University of Waterloo; Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University
Stephanie L Dickinson, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Indiana University; School of Public Health, Indiana University
Eric G. Knackmuhs, Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies, Indiana University; School of Public Health, Indiana University; Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University
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As natural areas, agricultural lands, and open spaces continue to be developed at unprecedented rates, it is important for land conservation professionals to understand the individuals who might play a role in permanently protecting these lands and their ecological services. Many factors have been shown to influence land protection decisions among private owners, including land-use activities, demographic characteristics, and environmental intention and behavior. With the hypothesis that individuals already involved in land conservation programs would be candidates for permanent protection, we set out to model conservation easement decisions within a group of participants in southern Indiana’s Classified Forest and Wildlands Program (ICFWP). We used a mailed questionnaire to survey 500 landowners, garnering 308 responses, about their interest in conservation easements. Our results indicated significant positive relationships between interest in conservation easements with variables representing perception of landscape change, outdoor recreation behavior as an adult, and environmental organization membership. By better understanding the ways these factors promote permanent land-use decisions, land conservation professionals can better allocate limited resources through strategic investments in targeting and outreach.
conservation easements; functional leisure; Indiana Classified Forest and Wildlands; land trusts; land use; private land conservation
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