Shifting environmental concern in rural eastern Oregon: the role of demographic and place-based factors
- 394 Downloads
Public opinion can impact the success of natural resource management policies and programs. In this case study, we assess the degree to which demographic and place-based factors are associated with changing public opinions on climate change, wolves, renewable energy, and land development regulations in rural northeast Oregon. Based on cross-sectional telephone survey data collected in 2011 and 2014, our observations suggest declining support for eliminating wolves, increased support for renewable energy, and increasingly favorable views of regulations that limit development in rural landscapes. We find that while demographic change and local events contribute to some of the observed shifts in opinion on wolves, exogenous factors acting at state and national levels likely contribute to shifting opinions on climate change, renewable energy, and land use regulations.
KeywordsEnvironmental concern Survey Climate change Wolves Renewable energy Oregon
This work is supported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) (2014-68002-21782). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of NIFA or USDA. We appreciate continued collaboration with Oregon State University College of Forestry Extension, the USDA Forest Service, and the Oregon Department of Forestry. Special thanks to Paul Oester at Oregon State University Extension Service and Nils Christoffersen, Executive Director of Wallowa Resources, for their support and involvement in the CAFOR project. This study complies with US law and is approved by the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research at the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of New Hampshire.
- American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). (2006). Standard definitions: Final disposition of case codes and outcome rates (4th ed.). Lenexa, KS: American Association for Public Opinion Research.Google Scholar
- Boag, A. E., Hartter, J., Hamilton, L. C., Stevens, F. R., Ducey, M. J., Palace, M. W., Christoffersen, N., & Oester, P. T. (2015). Forest views: Shifting attitudes toward the environment in Northeast Oregon. Durham, NH: Carsey School of Public Policy. http://scholars.unh.edu/carsey/238/.
- Chavez, A. S., Gese, E. M., & Krannich, R. S. (2005). Attitudes of rural landowners toward wolves in northwestern Minnesota. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 33(2), 517–527. doi: 10.2193/0091-7648(2005)33[517:AORLTW]2.0.CO;2.
- Christoffersen, N. (2005). Wallowa resources: Gaining access and adding value to natural resources on public lands. In Natural resources as community assets: Lessons from two continents (pp. 147–180). http://sandcounty.net/assets.
- Feuer, A. (2016).The ideological roots of the oregon standoff. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/10/opinion/sunday/the-ideological-roots-of-the-oregon-standoff.html?_r=0.
- Hamilton, L. C., Colocousis, C. R., & Duncan, C. M. (2010). Place effects on environmental views. Rural Sociology, 75, 326–347. doi: 10.1111/j.1549-0831.2010.00013.x.
- Hamilton, L. C., Hamilton, L. R., Duncan, C. M., & Colocousis, C. R. (2008). Place matters: Challenges and opportunities in four rural Americas. Durham, NH: Carsey Institute. http://scholars.unh.edu/carsey/41/.
- Hamilton, L. C., Hartter, J., Keim, B. D. Boag, A. E., Palace, M. W., Stevens, F. R., & Ducey, M. J. (2016). Wildfire, climate, and perceptions in Northeast Oregon. Regional Environmental Change, 16, 1819–1832. doi: 10.1007/s10113-015-0914-y.
- Hamilton, L. C., Hartter, J., Lemcke-Stampone, M., Moore, D. W., & Safford, T. G. (2015). Tracking public beliefs about anthropogenic climate change. PLOS ONE, 10(9), e0138208. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138208.
- Hamilton, L. C., Hartter, J., Stevens, F., Congalton, R. G., Ducey, M., Campbell, M., Maynard, D., & Staunton, M. (2012). Forest views: Shifting attitudes toward the environment in northeast Oregon. Durham, NH: Carsey Institute. http://scholars.unh.edu/carsey/162/.
- Hartter, J., Stevens, F. R., Hamilton, L. C., Oester, P. T., Congalton, R. G., Ducey, M. J., & Crowley, M. (2014). Forest management and wildfire risks in inland Northwest. Durham, NH: Carsey Institute. http://scholars.unh.edu/carsey/211/.
- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). (2014). 2014 Depradation Investigations. http://www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/depredation_investigations_2014.asp.
- Schanning, K. (2009). Human dimensions: Public opinion research concerning wolves in the Great Lakes States of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. In Recovery of gray wolves in the Great Lakes Region of the United States (pp. 251–265). doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-85952-1.
- StataCorp. (2013). Stata statistical software: Release 13. College Station, TX: StataCorp LP.Google Scholar
- State of Oregon. (2015). Election statistics: Voter registrations and election participation. http://sos.oregon.gov/elections/Pages/electionsstatistics.aspx.
- Thomas, A. R., Lowe, B., Fulkerson, G., & Smith, P. (2011). critical rural theory: Structure, space, culture. New York: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
- US Census Bureau (2010–2014). American community survey 5-year estimates.Google Scholar
- Wallowa County Chieftain. (2014). Area ranchers’ wolf woes continue Ranchers in Northeast Oregon. http://www.wallowa.com/wolves/20141231/area-ranchers-wolf-woes-continue.
- Walker, P. A., & Hurley, P. T. (2011). Planning paradise: Politics and visioning of land use in Oregon. University of Arizona Press.Google Scholar