Texas landowner perceptions regarding ecosystem services and cost-sharing land management programs Academic Article uri icon


  • Publicly funded management programs can enhance important ecological services including watershed functions, wildlife habitat, and carbon sequestration. A mail survey was conducted in 2003 in the Western Edwards Aquifer area of Texas to assess landowner perceptions regarding the supply of ecological services from rangelands and their willingness to participate in various land management programs aimed at enhancing such services, which are receiving increasing public consideration. In general, landowners favorably viewed programs that would reduce woody plant (brush) cover in an effort to increase water yields or to improve wildlife habitat, but they disapproved of programs that would encourage the proliferation of woody plants in an attempt to increase atmospheric carbon sequestration. In addition, whether land management programs were voluntary or mandatory had a much greater influence on the level of landowner willingness to participate in programs than the availability of publicly funded cost-sharing. Three-fourths of respondents indicated they would be willing to enroll in cost-sharing brush management programs, and most viewed short-term (5-10 year) performance contracts as the most acceptable legal instrument for participating. To deal with ecosystem trade-offs resulting from woody plant management, we recommend that publicly funded programs aimed at enhancing ecosystem services through effective woody plant management should be flexible. In addition, we recommend the promotion of ecosystem level planning for such programs and cooperative management strategies for landowners participating in such program in order to maximize the effectiveness of associated public investments. 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Olenick, K. L., Kreuter, U. P., & Conner, J. R.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Olenick, KL||Kreuter, UP||Conner, JR

publication date

  • April 2005