Supporting Women Landowners in Wetland Conservation

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Department of Social Sciences


Wetlands are important to soil health and water quality improvements needed to meet conservation goals in the Upper Mississippi River Basin and landowners are essential partners in their conservation. We surveyed Iowa agricultural landowners to (1) identify their experiences and beliefs regarding wetlands as a conservation practice and (2) identify barriers and opportunities to landowners in engaging in wetland conservation. We analyze if respondents are likely to conserve or restore wetlands and identify motivating factors for action or inaction. A lack of experience with and misinformation about wetlands, coupled with a lack of access to needed conservation knowledge networks, limits conservation action for women landowners, no matter their age cohort. We identify strategies for improving outreach and knowledge access among these landowners. Our analysis contributes important information about the influence of gender and social networks upon wetland conservation to the growing literature regarding landowners’, and specifically women landowners’, conservation decision-making.

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Society and Natural Resources