Centrality of the Ranching Lifestyle and Attitudes Toward a Voluntary Incentive Program to Protect Endangered Species Academic Article uri icon


  • The Endangered Species Act of 1973 has served as the defacto biodiversity policy in the United States; however, heavy-handed implementation early in the act's history led private landowners to avoid managing land to benefit endangered species. By reducing costs and increasing benefits to landowners, voluntary incentive programs (VIPs) potentially bridge the gap between a policy that discourages beneficial land management on private lands and the need to enhance recovery efforts. However, the effectiveness of VIPs is bound to landowner participation. With the use of a sample of rangeland landowners in central Texas, we examined the potential for private landowners to enroll in an incentive program to protect and maintain habitat for endangered songbirds. First, we characterized landowners based on the centrality of production-oriented agriculture to their lifestyle. This measure of lifestyle centrality was comprised of self-identification as a rancher/farmer, dependence on land for income, and rootedness to the land. Second, we examined the relationship between lifestyle centrality, attitude, and participation in a VIP. With the use of structural-equation modeling, we found attitude toward enrolling mediated the relationship between centrality and a landowner's intention to enroll in a VIP. In addition to demographic analyses, social variables such as attitudes, beliefs, and motivations are needed to understand fully the multiple underlying reasons for participation and nonparticipation in a VIP and to design effective interventions to enhance participation. 2012 Society for Range Management.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Sorice, M. G., Conner, J. R., Kreuter, U. P., & Wilkins, R. N.

citation count

  • 24

complete list of authors

  • Sorice, Michael G||Conner, J Richard||Kreuter, Urs P||Wilkins, R Neal

publication date

  • March 2012