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6/26/2018 » 6/29/2018
2018 National Conference of Private Forest Landowners

6/18/2019 » 6/21/2019
2019 National Conference of Private Forest Landowners


Survey Explores Private Landowner Attitudes About Endangered Species Act
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Survey Explores Private Landowner Attitudes About Endangered Species Act

A doctoral candidate at the Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources at the University of Georgia has authored and issued a survey aimed at better understanding the attitudes private landowners have about endangered species and the Endangered Species Act. Lauren Ward, the principal author of the survey told the Forest Landowners Association that she thought the study was important because the issue thus far hasn’t been studied.

“When we looked into the research in this area, we found that there had never really been a comprehensive study addressing the private forest landowners’ perspective on endangered species conservation and the disincentives that are out there under the Endangered Species Act,” Ward said.

Ward approached the Forest Landowners Association about distributing a link to the survey to its members. The response to the survey was a pleasant surprise for Ward. “We didn’t know how many respondents we would be able to get,” Ward said.  “At the end of the day we had over 1100 respondents who filled out our survey, which was a number that was far and above our expectations.”

Of the 1100 hundred respondents, 928 were non-institutional private forest landowners, the core audience Ward was targeting.

 “Our research shows that private forest landowners really care about wildlife conservation. It is a very important land management objective that they have,” Ward said. “On the other hand they have fairly negative attitudes toward the Endangered Species Act.” 

Ward offered that she feels it important to the ongoing discussion about wildlife conservation to lay these two realities side by side. “This survey starts to paint the picture for your average American citizen of what’s going wrong with the Endangered Species Act on the ground on private lands today,” she said.

While Ward is still working on the final report based on the survey’s findings, her preliminary report can be found here.

Ward stressed that the support of the Forest Landowners Association was integral to the success of the survey effort.

“The FLA’s participation really helped make our project more meaningful and a real advancement in the research in this area,” she said. “We hope that the results of our research will be not just interesting but also useful to the community of forest landowners in the United States.”






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