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Tuesday, January 26 • 1:40pm - 2:00pm
Conserving The Plains and Prairie Pothole Ecoregions: A Land Relations Scale

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AUTHORS: Lily A. Sweikert*, Department of Natural Resource Management, South Dakota State University Larry M. Gigliotti, U.S. Geological survey, SD Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

ABSTRACT: The Plains and Prairie Pothole Ecoregions (PPPE) support a unique biodiverse assemblage of plants and animals and provide many benefits to humans. Although the PPPE are two of the most important ecosystems in North America, they are also two of the most endangered with only 30-50% of native habitat remaining. With over 80% of the land in the PPPE under private ownership and primarily used for farming and ranching, we need to gain a better understanding of the relationship landowners have with the land they use and operate, in order to address the issue of habitat loss. A measurement instrument for assessing basic land relations that reflect the types of decisions farm/ranch producers make on the land was developed using the domain sampling approach. Principal Axis Factoring was used to identify the latent components behind the observations. Components with too low or too few factor loadings were removed. Reliability analysis further reduced the number of items resulting in human centered and nature centered scales, both with 6-items, and a 3-item restoration scale. This 15-item scale’s predictive ability tested against demographic information proved valid. This model can be used to provide habitat conservationists with a description of the relationship farmers and ranchers have with the land they use, which is a tool that will be useful for targeting conservation programs.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 1:40pm - 2:00pm EST
Ambassador W