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Value conflicts as barriers to farmer participation in incentive programs for riparian buffers in the Puget Sound

By Terre Satterfield, Kai M. A. Chan and Mollie Chapman


Payment for ecosystem services programs seek to compensate land managers for changes to enhance ecosystem services and/or biodiversity, yet increasing participant enrollment is a common challenge. Adapting PES programs to better fit with rural land manager and farmer values could make programs more attractive without decreasing their ecological effectiveness. We examine the possibility of value misalignment or conflict between participants and programs, which has proven an impediment to conservation efforts in many types of programs. We conducted in-depth interviews with farmers and rural land managers in Snohomish County in Washington State regarding programs to create riparian buffers along streams and rivers on their land. We found key value conflicts between participants and programs in the areas of aesthetics, knowledge bases used and relationships to land and nature. Analysis of participant responses suggests that grounding conservation programs of all sorts in locally salient values could not only increase enrollment but has the potential to foster the kinds of stewardship values that underlie conservation

Topics: Fresh Water Studies, Life Sciences, Marine Biology, Natural Resources and Conservation, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology
Publisher: Western CEDAR
Year: 2018
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