Resident and user support for urban natural areas restoration practices
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Biological Conservation. 203: 216-225.
Public support is important to the success of natural areas restoration programs. Support can be especially critical in urban settings where stakeholders recreate in or reside near natural areas but may lack familiarity with practices for managing ecological processes. Surveys of on-site recreationists and nearby residents (N= 888) of 11 Chicago metropolitan natural areas were used to assess support for eight different practices commonly used in oakwoodland restoration. Support generally ranged in relation to the level or intensity of management intervention, frommore than 90% of the sample supporting the planting of native seeds and plants to just 32% supporting the use of herbicides to control undesired vegetation. On-site users and nearby residents who believed that a restoration practice was being used at the site they visited and/or lived near were much more likely to support the use of that practice than those who did not believe or did not know whether it was being used. These belief variables were the most important predictors in binary logistic regression models of restoration support, though gender (female) also significantly decreased the likelihood of supporting most high-intervention practices. Beyond these findings, results also suggest that support should be viewed as a multidimensional concept that involves perceptual, demographic, and structural components which often differ for different practices. Managers can use the information provided here to increase their understanding of the relative nature of restoration support and devise holistic social-ecological strategies to achieve restoration success.
KeywordsRestoration success, Social acceptability, Land management practices, Beliefs, Gender
Gobster, Paul H.; Floress, Kristin; Westphal, Lynne M.; Watkins, Cristy A.; Vining, Joanne; Wali, Alaka. 2016. Resident and user support for urban natural areas restoration practices. Biological Conservation. 203: 216-225. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.09.025.