USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station
Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
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Research Topics

Recreation: Behaviors and Conflict

The Roles of Trust and Concern in Threatened and Endangered Species Management

George Cvetkovich (Western Washington University) and I have been conducting a series of studies examining the role of trust in natural resource management. Trust is measured in keeping with the salient values similarity model. The model predicts that when individual members of the public believe they have similar salient values (those most important to them in actions/thoughts) to the Forest Service, trust will result. We have found that "shared values" is highly predictive of overall trust. Further, judgments of shared values and trust significantly predict attitudes towards various management alternatives. We also have found variations in this. Actions inconsistent with shared values are still acceptable, if reasons for the inconsistencies seem justified to the individual. Examples of justifications acceptable to some individuals include limited resources or strong interest group opposition.

We combined approval and effectiveness ratings of five possible threatened and endangered species management interventions. We then predicted the approval/effectiveness ratings based on trust and salient values, concern about t & e species, knowledge about t & e species, prior National Forest visitation, language of survey, age, education and gender. In four of the five interventions, concern and trust were the most significant predictors of the approval/effectiveness ratings. The third most important predictor was self-rated knowledge about threatened and endangered species. Those who were most concerned about species, and trusted the Forest Service the most, tended to conclude that each of the interventions was both more acceptable and effective. In contrast, those who indicated they knew the most about t & e species tended to conclude that the interventions were less acceptable and effective. Females tended to rate the interventions as more acceptable and effective than did males.

These findings suggest that approaches to implementing interventions to protect threatened and endangered species should incorporate information about values, concern about species, rationale for each intervention, technical aspects to satisfy those with greater knowledge about species, and any constraints or considerations that directly affect management choices.

Publications and Products related to this subject:

Winter, P.L.; Cvetkovich, G.T. 2003. Southwesterners' opinions on the management of threatened and endangered species. Unpublished report. Riverside, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. 101 p.

Research conducted by:
Last Modified: Aug 29, 2016 11:05:11 AM