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A.1-3: America’s Shifting Wildlife Values, Attitudes, and Wildlife Management in the U.S.

Presented by David C. Fulton - Email: dcfulton@umn.edu

Wildlife management agencies are facing increasing social conflict and unprecedented scrutiny. The agencies are challenged by issues such as decline in hunting participation, public controversy with management actions and policies, disagreement about wildlife-human conflict, declining environmental conditions, and diminishing funding. We use the results from the America’s Wildlife study to help explain how these issues have emerged as a result of the shifting social context within the United States. We draw from finding of three studies including the 2018 national survey wildlife values survey (n = 43,949 respondents, 50 states) and the 2018 agency culture survey (n = 9,770 respondents, 28 states). We use a systems model perspective to examine the rise of mutualist values and a shift away from more traditional utilitarian values toward wildlife. The consequences of this shift are critical for public attitudes toward wildlife-related issues and, we propose, will ultimately have an effect on fundamental aspects of wildlife agencies. This presentation will provide an overview of the theory social value change: current composition of wildlife values in the U.S. and effects on attitudes; longitudinal trends of value shift; and the apparent effect of value shift on agency culture.
Session: Assessing & Adapting HD Initiatives (Tuesday, August 27, 8:15 to 10:00)