A survey-based assessment of cattle producers' adaptation to climate change in British Columbia, Canada
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CitationCox, M., Gardner, W. C., & Fraser, L. H. (2015). A survey-based assessment of cattle producers’ adaptation to climate change in British Columbia, Canada. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 68(2), 119–130.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalRangeland Ecology & Management
AbstractA quantitative analysis of the British Columbia, Canada cattle ranching community in light of global climate change provides insight as to how stakeholder needs and observations can be included in future planning. More than 63% of the 239 survey respondents believe that human activities are increasing the rate at which global climate changes occur, and 60% of 231 respondents adapted their management because of climate change. Cattle ranchers operating for less than 20 years were more likely to agree that human activities are increasing the rate of global climate change compared with those operating more than 40 years. This may reflect the fact that the concept of climate change has gained more public acceptance in the past 2 decades and would likely be perceived as a legitimate risk to an operation by those in this category in comparison with those who have been operating for a long period of time and tend to rely on experiential or embedded knowledge. Regional analysis showed that the most northerly region is more likely to have noticed change in climate compared with one of the most southern regions. With respect to operation of scale in terms of head of cattle, those ranches with more than 50 head of cattle identified water availability as a significant challenge to operations. Family succession planning was identified as a greater challenge for those operating their ranch for more than 40 years, compared with those operating less than 20 years. Adaptation to climate change included accessing available forage and providing a water source for cattle. Experiential and scientific knowledge will be crucial to future planning to reduce the vulnerability of the ranching industry and building adaptive capacity. © 2015 Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.