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Q.1-6: Predicting waterfowl hunter attitudes towards greentree reservoir management practices

Presented by Jakeb G. Spears - Email: SpearsJG@uamont.edu

The attitude concept is a ubiquitous evaluative measure used by agencies to understand stakeholders views on wildlife management policy. In Arkansas, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) manages greentree reservoirs (GTRs) and assesses stakeholder views of their management. A GTR is impounded bottomland hardwood forest that is flooded each fall/winter to provide habitat for wintering waterfowl and duck hunting opportunities. However, scientific evidence indicating traditional GTR management practices negatively affects forest health prompted AGFC to implement new GTR management policy in 2016. This study sought to measure and predict Arkansas waterfowl hunters attitude of towards the new policy. As part of a preregistered study (https://osf.io/vzf7a), we hypothesized that value similarity (between AGFC and hunters) would be positively associated with the perceived trustworthiness of AGFC, procedural trust, and dispositional trust; and that these four factors would predict hunters attitude towards AGFCs GTR policy. Using Qualtrics, a questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 10,000 Arkansas residents who purchased duck stamps in 2017-18. Results from a 3-item semantic differential attitude scale found hunters have a slightly positive attitude towards the new GTR flood management ( = .97, M = 4.25, SD = 1.62) (N = 3,343). A structural equation analysis supported our hypothesis. We observed a significant, positive relationship between value similarity ( = .96, M = 4.28, SD = 1.74) and sophistication ( = .86, M = 4.47, SD = 1.55) and trust ( = .97, M = 4.25, SD = 1.73), and each were positively associated with attitude (2 = 233.58, RMSEA = .06, NNFI = .94, CFI = .95). Findings highlight the important roles that value similarity and trust have on a hunters attitude. Agencies can use these findings to anticipate stakeholder views on management decisions and design appropriate communications or interventions.
Session: Poster Session 2 (Wednesday, August 28, 19:00 to 21:00)