Population and Environment

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 207–216 | Cite as

Shifting environmental concern in rural eastern Oregon: the role of demographic and place-based factors

  • Angela E. BoagEmail author
  • Lawrence C. Hamilton
  • Joel Hartter
  • Forrest R. Stevens
  • Michael W. Palace
  • Mark J. Ducey
Research Brief


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.


Environmental 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.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 22 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela E. Boag
    • 1
    • 8
    Email author
  • Lawrence C. Hamilton
    • 2
    • 3
  • Joel Hartter
    • 1
    • 3
  • Forrest R. Stevens
    • 4
  • Michael W. Palace
    • 5
    • 6
  • Mark J. Ducey
    • 7
    • 3
  1. 1.Environmental Studies ProgramUniversity of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Sociology DepartmentUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Carsey School of Public PolicyUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Department of Geography and GeosciencesUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  5. 5.Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and SpaceUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  6. 6.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  7. 7.Department of Natural Resources and the EnvironmentUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  8. 8.BoulderUSA

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