Article

Environmental Management

, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 427-440

First online:

Appreciation, Use, and Management of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in California’s Working Landscapes

  • Tobias PlieningerAffiliated withEcosystem Services Research Group, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and HumanitiesGeography Department, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Email author 
  • , Shasta FerrantoAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California
  • , Lynn HuntsingerAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California
  • , Maggi KellyAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California
  • , Christy GetzAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California

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Abstract

“Working landscapes” is the concept of fostering effective ecosystem stewardship and conservation through active human presence and management and integrating livestock, crop, and timber production with the provision of a broad range of ecosystem services at the landscape scale. Based on a statewide survey of private landowners of “working” forests and rangelands in California, we investigated whether owners who are engaged in commercial livestock or timber production appreciate and manage biodiversity and ecosystem services on their land in different ways than purely residential owners. Both specific uses and management practices, as well as underlying attitudes and motivations toward biodiversity and ecosystem services, were assessed. Correlation analysis showed one bundle of ecosystem goods and services (e.g., livestock, timber, crops, and housing) that is supported by some landowners at the community level. Another closely correlated bundle of biodiversity and ecosystem services includes recreation, hunting/fishing, wildlife habitat, and fire prevention. Producers were more likely to ally with the first bundle and residential owners with the second. The survey further confirmed that cultural ecosystem services and quality-of-life aspects are among the primary amenities that motivate forest and rangeland ownership regardless of ownership type. To live near natural beauty was the most important motive for both landowner groups. Producers were much more active in management for habitat improvement and other environmental goals than residential owners. As the number of production-oriented owners decreases, developing strategies for encouraging environment-positive management by all types of landowners is crucial.

Keywords

Biodiversity California Ecosystem services Forest and rangeland management Landowner survey Working landscapes