The influence of beliefs and norms on landowners' civic engagement in water resource protection

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Abstract

This study examines the drivers of landowner engagement in water resource conservation in the Red River Basin. Specifically, it applies a theoretical framework, the norm activation theory (NAT), to understand the influence of beliefs and norms on landowners' civic engagement in water resource conservation. Data were collected through a self-administered mail survey of 1,500 landowners in two subwatersheds of the Red River Basin: Wild Rice River and Middle Snake-Tamarac Rivers watersheds. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM). Study results demonstrate that landowner beliefs and personal norms to take action are important predictors of landowner civic engagement in water resource conservation. This study offers strategies for policy makers, resource professionals, and other local actors to best design and promote water resource programs that are socially relevant and responsive to changing conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-649
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Soil and Water Conservation
Volume72
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, University of Minnesota, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for their collaboration.We would especially like to thank Linda Kingery (executive director, Northwest Minnesota Sustainable Development Partnership, University of Minnesota, Crookston, Minnesota) and Henry Van Offelen (principal state planner, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota) for their invaluable input on study design, participant recruitment, and study outreach. We would also like to thank Bree Duever (research assistant, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota) for her assistance in data collection and data entry. We are also grateful to the survey respondents. This project was supported by funding from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, University of Minnesota, and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Hatch project 229912. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the funders.

Keywords

  • Human Dimensions-pro-Environmental Behavior-runoff-watershed Management

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