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Title:A survey of landowners in the Grand River Grasslands: Managing wildlife, cattle, and non-native plants
Author(s):Coon, Jaime J.; Morton, Lois W.; Miller, James R.
Subject(s):Grand River Grasslands
Landowner Survey
Grassland Management
Prescribed Fire
Woody Encroachment
Invasive Plants
Wildlife Conservation
Landowner Decision-making
Farm Ponds
Forage Quality
Cattle Production
Absentee Landowners
Geographic Coverage:Iowa
Central U.S.
Abstract:The Grand River Grasslands (GRG) is a 62,000 ha conservation priority area found in Ringgold County, Iowa and Harrison County, Missouri. This rolling working landscape consists primarily of diversified livestock and crop production. These agricultural systems drive management decisions and affect the grassland ecosystems in a variety of ways. To better understand landowners’ perceptions of grasslands management practices, we surveyed 456 landowners in spring 2017. Survey items focused on attitudes toward wildlife, knowledge and perceptions about grasses and their forage value, concerns about invasive plants and woody encroachment, use of prescribed fire, and grazing practices. Many of the questions in this survey replicated questions from a 2007 survey of 261 landowners, providing a longitudinal look at management practices and underlying values, beliefs, and attitudes over a ten-year period. We received a 32% response rate (N=149, compared to a 51% response rate in 2007). This technical report summarizes key findings of the survey and compares selected items to the 2007 survey. Overall, positive attitudes toward conservation seem to have eroded, with fewer landowners believing that restoration on their land is important in 2017 compared with 2007. However, more landowners are engaging in practices that are thought to support conservation. For example, landowners are removing woody plants and using prescribed fire at higher rates, and there have been net gains in grassland area in the region. Further, while many wildlife species have become less important to residents, northern bobwhite and bees are both highly important to residents. Positive attitudes toward these species alongside increased use of management that supports biodiversity suggest that private lands in the Grand River Grasslands have the potential to benefit both wildlife conservation and cattle production
Issue Date:2018-04
Publisher:University of Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Citation Info:Coon, JJ, LW Morton, & JR Miller. 2018. A survey of landowners in the Grand River Grasslands: Managing wildlife, cattle, and non-native plants. Report 04-18, University of Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, Urbana, IL.
Genre:Technical Report
Sponsor:Sustainable Agriculture, Research, and Education, North-Central Region (SARE) [GSP15-038]
Illinois SARE small grants program
National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2016-67019-25206 and Hatch project ILLU-875-918
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-05-15

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