Browsing Rangeland Ecology & Management, Volume 64, Number 5 (September 2011) by Authors
New Rangeland Residents in Wyoming? A Survey of Exurban LandownersMealer, Rachel D.; Meiman, Paul J.; Hild, Ann L; Taylor, David T.; Thompson, Jennifer S. (Society for Range Management, 2011-09-01)Rapid conversion of rural land to exurban development and the ensuing impacts on natural resources have been well-documented, but information about exurban landowners is lacking. To address this knowledge gap, we surveyed exurban landowners in six Wyoming counties and documented demographic characteristics, motivations, knowledge, and attitudes about natural resources and land management. The overall response rate was 55.6%. Generally, respondents were of retirement age, had lived in Wyoming for about 13 yr, and were raised in areas with a population < 10 000. Wyoming respondents lived in exurbia for the lifestyle and aesthetic values and did not expect economic gains from their property. Most respondents had knowledge about, and interest in, invasive species, water quality, landscaping, and gardening. More than half of respondents (54%) had never looked for information regarding land management. Information from this study can be used to strengthen the development and delivery of educational programs. Programs that focus on water quality or weed control likely will appeal to more exurban landowners than those that focus solely on grazing management. Our findings provide an accurate characterization of this audience and their motivations and attitudes regarding land management, and suggest that using a multipronged approach for outreach efforts, which includes both cost- and time-efficient ways to conduct important land management practices, might increase participation in educational programs.