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Predicting Engagement in a Conservation Easement Agreement

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0023555/00001

Material Information

Title: Predicting Engagement in a Conservation Easement Agreement
Physical Description: 1 online resource (221 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Brain, Roslynn
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: behavior, cattle, conservation, cooperative, design, easement, environmental, equation, extension, identity, method, methods, mixed, modeling, planned, rancher, structural, tailored, theory, trust
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to predict Florida cattle rancher engagement in a conservation easement (CE) agreement. Specifically, this study explored the applicability of the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991), trust, environmental identity, past behavior, perceptions of specific conservation easement characteristics, and selected participant demographics in predicting engagement in a CE agreement. Although CEs are the most widely used land conservation tool in the U.S., this was the first study of its kind to predict landowner adoption of such programs. A mixed-methods approach was used, involving six interviews, a two-phase pilot study, and a statewide mail-administered questionnaire. The interviews were designed using a constructivist theoretical perspective and interview data were coded using inductive analysis. Final interview domains were then used in the design of the quantitative survey instrument for the study. Following the two-phase pilot test, the survey was administered to 1,000 Florida cattle ranchers. A 60% response rate was received with 517 usable surveys. Multiple linear regression and structural equation modeling demonstrated that ranchers were more likely to enter into a CE agreement if they (a) had a positive attitude about the outcomes associated with CEs, (b) felt influential others, namely neighbors, other cattle ranchers, and family, would positively support CEs, (c) indicated higher trust in conservation organizations/agencies, (d) believed their land had significant conservation value, (e) supported the sale/donation of certain property rights, and (f) were positively influenced by financial incentives, primarily estate tax deductions. These six variables explained over 50% of the variance in behavioral intent to engage in a CE agreement.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Roslynn Brain.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Irani, Tracy A.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0023555:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0023555/00001

Material Information

Title: Predicting Engagement in a Conservation Easement Agreement
Physical Description: 1 online resource (221 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Brain, Roslynn
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: behavior, cattle, conservation, cooperative, design, easement, environmental, equation, extension, identity, method, methods, mixed, modeling, planned, rancher, structural, tailored, theory, trust
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to predict Florida cattle rancher engagement in a conservation easement (CE) agreement. Specifically, this study explored the applicability of the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991), trust, environmental identity, past behavior, perceptions of specific conservation easement characteristics, and selected participant demographics in predicting engagement in a CE agreement. Although CEs are the most widely used land conservation tool in the U.S., this was the first study of its kind to predict landowner adoption of such programs. A mixed-methods approach was used, involving six interviews, a two-phase pilot study, and a statewide mail-administered questionnaire. The interviews were designed using a constructivist theoretical perspective and interview data were coded using inductive analysis. Final interview domains were then used in the design of the quantitative survey instrument for the study. Following the two-phase pilot test, the survey was administered to 1,000 Florida cattle ranchers. A 60% response rate was received with 517 usable surveys. Multiple linear regression and structural equation modeling demonstrated that ranchers were more likely to enter into a CE agreement if they (a) had a positive attitude about the outcomes associated with CEs, (b) felt influential others, namely neighbors, other cattle ranchers, and family, would positively support CEs, (c) indicated higher trust in conservation organizations/agencies, (d) believed their land had significant conservation value, (e) supported the sale/donation of certain property rights, and (f) were positively influenced by financial incentives, primarily estate tax deductions. These six variables explained over 50% of the variance in behavioral intent to engage in a CE agreement.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Roslynn Brain.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Irani, Tracy A.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0023555:00001


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PREDICTING ENGAGEMENT IN A CONSERVATION EASEMENT AGREEMENT By ROSLYNN G.H. BRAIN A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008 1

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2008 Roslynn G.H. Brain 2

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To land conservationists. I hope this study w ill assist you in your inspiring efforts. 3

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The completion of this document would not ha ve been possible without the help of many individuals. First and foremost, I would like to thank my graduate committee. I thank Dr. Glenn Israel for his ability to always push me beyond what I believed to be my statistical limitations. I thank Dr. Nick Place for his continual encourag ement and support. I thank Dr. Martha Monroe for her incredible talent as both a researcher a nd teacher; she always knew how to make me think beyond the obvious, especially regarding conservati on behavior. I thank Dr. Mark Hostetler as well for his knowledge regarding the logistics of conservation easement agreements. Finally, I would like to sincerely thank my advisor, Dr. Tracy Irani. On se veral occasions, Dr. Irani would receive an unplanned phone call or visit from me regarding a new idea or finding in my study, and she always made herself available to provide a helping hand. Her continual support, encouragement, and guiding questions helped bols ter my confidence and direct me down a path in which my research passion was best employed. In addition to my graduate committee, this study would not have been possible without the encouragement and support I received from Florid a Farm Bureau and Tractor Supply Co. First, I am extremely grateful and honored for having b een provided the opportunity to work with the extraordinary people at Florida Farm Bureau, especially Rod Hemphill, Pat Cockrell, Chris Miller, and Mary Beth King. Be yond receiving full funding and assistance through Florida Farm Bureau, my regular meetings with the people in this organization spawne d several new practical considerations as to why ranchers might or might not want to engage in a conservation easement agreement. The experience of working with such individuals that were ou tside of the university community was invaluable. I thank Tractor Suppl y Co. as well for their willingness to donate over 1,000 incentives for this study. 4

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5 In addition to Florida Farm Bureau and Tr actor Supply Co., I would like to thank Busy Shires-Byerly and Ellen HuntleyDub of the Conservation Trust for Florida, John Winfree of The Nature Conservancy in Florida, and Cindy Sanders of Alachua County Extension for their assistance with the interviewee and pilot study contacts as well as their edits to the survey instrument. I would also like to extend a sp ecial thank you to Dr. Scott Co lwell at the University of Guelph. Dr. Colwell, a specialist in structural equation modeling, spent two full days assisting me as I worked with the structural equation model for this study. His expertise, friendly personality and ability to convey complex info rmation in simplistic terminology are admirable traits. Finally, I thank my family, friends and student s. I thank my Dad (Bob Brain) for passing down his passion in teaching and for his endless supply of civil war analogies comparing completion of a Ph.D. to fighting on a battlefield. I thank the rest of my family and friends for the frequent phone calls, e-mails, and visits that helped remind me of the world outside of graduate school. I also thank my students. It is through teaching at the University of Florida that I discovered without a doubt that I was meant to be a professor. Above all else, I thank Dr. Nick Fuhrman. Nick s passion for teaching, learning, and life is contagious and helped inspire me to be a better person and make the most of my abilities. In applying for graduate school, I never dreamed that I would graduate with both a Ph.D. and with finding the love of my life.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ........10LIST OF FIGURES.......................................................................................................................12ABSTRACT...................................................................................................................................13CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................. .15Conservation Easements: A Land Conservation Approach....................................................17Significance of the Problem....................................................................................................20Linking the Theory of Planned Behavior w ith Land Conservation Research to Predict Conservation Easement Adoption.......................................................................................23Purpose...................................................................................................................................25Overview of Methods......................................................................................................26Study Objectives..............................................................................................................27Research Hypotheses.......................................................................................................28Definition of Terms................................................................................................................28Significance of the Research..................................................................................................2 9Theoretical Contribution.................................................................................................29Practical Contribution......................................................................................................30Limitations.................................................................................................................... ..........31Assumptions.................................................................................................................... .......32Summary.................................................................................................................................322 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................33The Theory of Planned Behavior and Re search Involving Conservation Behavior...............34Theoretical Framework.......................................................................................................... .37Attitude....................................................................................................................... .....38Subjective Norm..............................................................................................................40Perceived Behavioral Control..........................................................................................41Environmenta l Identity....................................................................................................43Trust.................................................................................................................................48Past Behavior...................................................................................................................50Perceptions of Specific Conserva tion Easement Characteristics....................................51Individual Characteristics & Factors Associated with C onservation Practice Adoption.......55From Behavioral Intention to Actual Behavioral Engagement..............................................58The Theory of Planned Behavior vers us Value Belief Norm and Diffusion of Innovations..........................................................................................................................59Summary.................................................................................................................................62Conceptual Model............................................................................................................... ....63 6

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3 METHODS...................................................................................................................... .......64Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........64Research Design.....................................................................................................................64Population of Interest..............................................................................................................65Sampling.................................................................................................................................66Survey Development Interviews.............................................................................................68Attitude....................................................................................................................... .....69Subjective Norms............................................................................................................69Perceived Behavioral Control..........................................................................................70Antecedent Variables.......................................................................................................70Interview Methods and Coding.......................................................................................72Interview Findings..................................................................................................................73General Attitudes.............................................................................................................74Attitudes about Conservation Easements........................................................................76Subjective Norms and Memberships...............................................................................78Perceived Behavioral Control..........................................................................................79Demographics..................................................................................................................81Instrumentation and Measurement.........................................................................................82Instrument components...................................................................................................83Implementation of the Pilot Study..........................................................................................88Pilot Study Results............................................................................................................ ......89Administration........................................................................................................................91Data Analysis..........................................................................................................................97Summary.................................................................................................................................984 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION...........................................................................................101Introduction................................................................................................................... ........101Study Response Rate............................................................................................................ 101Reliability and Item Discrimina tion by Instrument Construct.............................................102Factor Analysis and Construct Validity................................................................................106Attitude....................................................................................................................... ...106Subjective Norms..........................................................................................................107Perceived Behavioral Control........................................................................................108Trust...............................................................................................................................109Environmenta l Identity..................................................................................................109Behavioral Intent...........................................................................................................110Objective One.......................................................................................................................111Participant Description in Terms of Selected Demographic Characteristics................111Sex, Age, Number of Children, and Education.............................................................111Ranch Size, Years of Family Ownership, Ownership Type, Likely Future of the Ranch.........................................................................................................................112Proximity to Preserved Parcel, Proximity to Urban Development, and Perceived Land Conservation Value..........................................................................................114Extension Consulting, Cattlemens Asso ciation Involvement, Conservation Group Membership, Familiarity with Conservation Easements, and Past Behavior............115 7

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Attitude, Subjective Norms, and Perceived Behavioral Control...................................117Trust, Nature Identity, Conservati on Identity, and Behavioral Intent...........................117Objective Two......................................................................................................................118Identify the Relationship Between Anteced ent and Independent Variables and the Dependent Variable...................................................................................................118Objective Three................................................................................................................ ....124Predict Conservation Easement Adoption.....................................................................124Multiple Linear Regression...........................................................................................124Structural Equation Modeling.......................................................................................126Summary...............................................................................................................................1315 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.......................................133Introduction................................................................................................................... ........133Objectives.............................................................................................................................133Research Hypotheses............................................................................................................ 134Summary of Methods...........................................................................................................13 4Summary of Findings...........................................................................................................1 37Objective One: Describe Participants in Terms of Selected Demographic Characteristics............................................................................................................137Objective Two: Identify the Relationship between Antecedent and Independent Variables and the Dependent Variable......................................................................139Objective Three: Predict Conservation Easement Adoption.........................................140Research Hypothesis One..............................................................................................141Research Hypothesis Two.............................................................................................142Research Hypothesis Three...........................................................................................143Research Hypothesis Four.............................................................................................143Conclusions...........................................................................................................................144Discussion and Implications.................................................................................................145Objective One: Describe Participants in Terms of Selected Demographic Information................................................................................................................145Objective Two: Identify the Relationship between Antecedent and Independent Variables and the Dependent Variable......................................................................148Objective Three: Predict Engagement in a Conservation Easement Agreement..........154Recommendations for Research...........................................................................................158Recommendations for Practice.............................................................................................159APPENDIX A INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD AP PROVAL: QUALITATIVE INTERVIEWS....160B INFORMED CONSENT: QUALITATIVE INTERVIEWS................................................161C INTERVIEW GUIDE...........................................................................................................162D QUALITATIVE INTERVIEW DOMAINS.........................................................................164E INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOAR D APPROVAL: PILOT STUDY..............................180 8

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9 F PRENOTICE LETTER........................................................................................................181G INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOAR D APPROVAL: FINAL STUDY..............................182H SURVEY PACKET ENVELOPE........................................................................................183I SURVEY COVER LETTER................................................................................................184J DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENT..............................................................................185K INCENTIVE.................................................................................................................... .....193L POSTAGE-PAID BUSINESS REPLY ENVELOPE..........................................................194M THANK YOU/REMINDER POSTCARD...........................................................................195N LETTER FOR NONRESPONDENTS.................................................................................196O SURVEY COMMENTS.......................................................................................................197LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................209BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................221

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Response rate by projected county growth ( N = 602).....................................................1014-2 Reliability coefficients (C ronbachs alpha) for constructs..............................................1024-3 Subscale indices representing attitude ( N = 517).............................................................1034-4 Subscale indices representing subjective norms ( N = 517).............................................1034-5 Subscale indices representing perceived behavioral control ( N = 517)...........................1044-6 Subscale indices repres enting participant trust ( N = 517)...............................................1044-7 Subscale indices representing environmental identity ( N = 517)....................................1054-8 Subscale indices represen ting behavioral intent ( N = 487)..............................................1054-9 Factor loadings for attitude (Section II) ( N = 517)..........................................................1074-10 Factor loadings for s ubjective norms (Section III) ( N = 517)..........................................1084-11 Factor loadings for perceived behavioral control (Section IV) (N = 517).......................1094-12 Factor loadings for part icipant trust (Section IV) ( N = 517)...........................................1094-13 Factor loadings for enviro nmental identity (Section VII) ( N = 517)...............................1104-14 Factor loadings for beha vioral intent (Section VI) ( N = 487)..........................................1114-15 Education level by sex ( N = 517).....................................................................................1124-16 Ranch size by ownership quartiles ( N = 517)..................................................................1134-17 Proximity to a preserved parcel of land by projected population increase ( N = 517).....1144-18 Cattlemens association leadership role by sex ( N = 517)...............................................1164-19 Membership to conservation groups by sex ( N = 517)....................................................1164-20 Correlations between variables ( N = 487).......................................................................1214-21 Correlation matrix for variables explai ning at least 10% of the variance in the dependent variable (N = 487)...........................................................................................1234-22 Multiple linear regression to predic t likelihood of engaging in a conservation easement agreement ( N = 487)........................................................................................125 10

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11 4-23 Structural equation model predicting likelihood to engage in a conservation easement agreement ( N = 487)........................................................................................................1314-24 Standardized indirect effects in the structural equation model ( N = 487).......................1314-25 Analysis of covariance results from the structural equation model ( N = 487)................131

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 The theory of planned behavior.........................................................................................382-2 The value-belief-norm theory............................................................................................602-3 Conceptual model: Adapted from the theory of planned behavior....................................633-1 Summary of variables measured in the study..................................................................1004-1 Path model illustrating direct effects of significant variables on behavioral intent to enter into a conservatio n easement agreement.................................................................1264-2 Structural equation model illustrating indirect and di rect effects of significant variables on behavioral intent..........................................................................................130 12

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Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy PREDICTING ENGAGEMENT IN A CONSERVATION EASEMENT AGREEMENT By Roslynn G.H. Brain December, 2008 Chair: Tracy Irani Major: Agricultural Edu cation and Communication The purpose of this study was to predict Florida cattle rancher engagement in a conservation easement (CE) agreement. Specifically, this study explored th e applicability of the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991), tr ust, environmental identity, past behavior, perceptions of specific conservation easement characteristics, and selected participant demographics in predicting engagement in a CE agreement. Although CEs are the most widely used land conservation tool in the U.S., this was the first study of its kind to predict landowner adoption of such programs. A mixed-methods approach was used, involvi ng six interviews, a two-phase pilot study, and a statewide mail-administered questionnai re. The interviews were designed using a constructivist theoretica l perspective and interview data we re coded using inductive analysis. Final interview domains were then used in the design of the quantitative survey instrument for the study. Following the two-phase pilot test, the surv ey was administered to 1,000 Florida cattle ranchers. A 60% response rate was received with 517 usable surveys. Multiple linear regression and structural equation modeling de monstrated that ranchers were more likely to enter into a CE agreement if they (a) had a positive attitude a bout the outcomes associated with CEs, (b) felt 13

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14 influential others, namely neighbors, other catt le ranchers, and famil y, would positively support CEs, (c) indicated higher trust in conservation or ganizations/agencies, (d) believed their land had significant conservation value, (e ) supported the sale/donation of certain property rights, and (f) were positively influenced by fi nancial incentives, primarily es tate tax deductions. These six variables explained over 50% of the variance in behavioral inte nt to engage in a CE agreement.

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION From endangered species conservation to agricultural production, private rural land provides various benefits to both the natural environment and th e wider population. Specifically, this land offers aesthetic value, water qual ity, water quantity, wildlife habitat, rare and endangered species conservation, so il quality, air quality, and hist orical or archeological site preservation (Main, Hostetler, & Karim, 2003; Monroe, Bowers, & Hermansen, 2003). Given these multiple ecological benefits, private rural land is used by many biologists as a key avenue for biodiversity conservati on research (Knight, 1999). From a human dimensions standpoint, th ere is a significant body of literature demonstrating the benefits associated with being in a rural, natural environment. Strong evidence suggests that nature experiences are positively as sociated with psychological well-being (Kaplan, 1973; Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989; Kaplan & Talbot, 1988), physical health (U lrich, 1984; Verderber & Reuman, 1987), cognitive development (H artig, Mang, & Evans, 1991; Tennessen & Cimprich, 1995), and a reduced rate of attentiondeficit/hyperactivity diso rder in children (Kuo & Taylor, 2004; Taylor, Kuo, Sullivan, 2001). Given the diverse benefits provided by the natura l environment, the rate of rural land being lost to development has generated nationwide concern from environmental educators, the Cooperative Extension Service, public and privat e organizations, and government agencies. In response to this issue, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) iden tified private rural land preservation as a top conservati on priority in the U.S. (Lambe rt, Sullivan, Claassen, & Foreman, 2006). In addition to the USDA, several local, stat e, and national conservation organizations and agencies such as The Conservation Fund, Ducks Unlimited, The Farmland Stewardship Program, Land Trust Alliance, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Stewardship America, The Nature 15

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Conservancy, Trust for Public La nd, The United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and Wildlife Land Trust are devoting their efforts toward rura l land conservation (Main, Karim, & Hostetler, 2003). Despite this heightened attention to preserving rural land nationwide, more than 34 million acres (the approximate land area of the state of Illinois) were converted into development between 1982 and 2001 (Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2003b). A prime example of development encroaching in to rural lands can be seen in Florida. Although Floridas population growth has experi enced a recent slowdown, trends from 20002006 indicate that the states population of a pproximately 18 million experienced an average daily net increase of 1,000 people (Trust fo r Public Land, 2007). Between 2000 and 2006 alone, the net migration into the state was 1,863,728 pe ople (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). It is not surprising that Florida has continua lly been identified as one of the fastest growing states in the nation (Main et al., 2003; U.S. Census Burea u, 2006). Using U.S. Census Bureau population projections, Zwick and Carr (2006) estimated th at Floridas population will increase from approximately 18 million in 2005 to over 35 milli on in 2060, with an annual population change rate of 330,537 people. The influx of residents in Florida has coincided with an increase in rural land value. According to Clouser (2006b), in 2005 alone Florida land used in production agriculture increased in value between 50% and 85% per ac re. Such lands, including forestland, rangeland, and cropland, are listed by the Natural Resource s Conservation Service (2007) as the primary targets for development in the future. Given the aforementioned benefits of private rural land and these projections, there is a need to protect th is agricultural land in particular from future development. 16

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Floridas rural land use has already changed substantially due to th is combination of a population influx, intensified development pressure and considerable increases in rural land value. For example, from 1964 to 2002, the amount of Florida land planted in crops alone declined from more than 15 million acres to sl ightly over 9 million acres (Reynolds, 2006). This decline has coincided with a fragmentation of na tive habitats in the state. Land conversion and fragmentation are cited as the primary threats to over 49 mammal, bird, reptile, and amphibian species throughout Florida that ar e listed as either endangered, threatened, or as species of concern (Main, Roka, & Hostetler, 2000). Main et al. (2000) advo cate that maintaining a mix of agriculture and undeveloped native habitats will be a key factor in ensuring wildlife diversity in the state. In addition to species loss, however, urban spra wl poses a variety of safety concerns for Floridas residents and seasonal vis itors. In fact, urban sprawl in Fl orida has been associated with an increased risk of fire damage with ramificat ions for economic, social, and ecological systems (Monroe et al., 2003). These trends illustrate a combined need for (a ) increased rural land conservation in the state and (b) a better unders tanding of the factors in fluencing landowners decisions to conserve their land. Conservation Easements: A Land Conservation Approach Significant funds have been allocated to land conservation efforts in Florida, demonstrating their importance at the state and local levels. For example, in response to an increased public concern for land conservati on, the Florida state government developed a Preservation 2000 program that allocated three billion dollars toward land conservation efforts between 1990 and 2000 (Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 2001). Following the Preservation 2000 program, the Florida Forever state land acquisition and conservation program committed to spending an additional three billion dollars between 2000 and 2010 to 17

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conserve Floridas rural lands (Mashour, 2004). Th e primary approach of such land conservation programs has been via conservation easement (C E) agreements, also known as conservation restrictions. Conservation easements are defined as a le gal agreement between a landowner and an eligible organization that restricts the activitie s that may take place on a property in order to protect the lands conservation values (Byers & Marchetti Ponte, 2005, p. 14). Private farmland, open space, and timberland are targeted for CEs pr imarily to preserve buffers between urban and natural areas. In the U.S., these private lands are home to approximately half of all threatened and endangered species, while an additional 20% of these species reside on them at least half of the time (Morrisette, 2001). With an easement on a property, the right to devel op the land for real estate, industrial use, and many potential commercial uses is restricted, but the landowner can stil l live, farm, ranch, or harvest timber on it, keep trespassers off, sell th e property, give the proper ty away, or leave the property to his/her children (Sma ll, 1998). In other words, the la ndowner retains ti tle to the land and may continue to use it subject to the CE restrictions (Mo rrisette, 2001). Under the Uniform Conservation Act of 1986, all CEs in Florida are attached to the land deed and are associated with the land perpetually (Daniels, 1991). However, each CE is individually tailored to fit the needs of the landowner as long as he/she retains a public purpose or intent (The Nature Conservancy, 2004). There are two primary forms of CE agreements : (1) donation of development rights, or (2) sale of development rights (B. Shires, Conser vation Trust for Florida, personal communication, February 12, 2007). In either op tion, land is assessed based on the estimated difference between the property value before and afte r the CE (Small, 1998). This befor e-after appraisal is used to 18

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calculate the federal income tax deduction ta ken by a property owner who engages in a CE (Appraisal Institute, 2001). The use of CEs as a land conservati on tool dates back to the late 19th Century. Their first use in the U.S. occurred in th e late 1880s to protect park ways designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in the Boston Area (Byers & Marchett i Ponte, 2005). Since then, CEs have been adopted in every U.S. state and are the most wi dely used land conserva tion tool in the nation (Byers & Marchetti Ponte, 2005). Although the total number of CEs held by federal, state, and local agencies has not been documented, rough estimates calculate that nearly 1.4 million acres in the U.S. were protected through CEs as of 2000 (Gustanski & Squires, 20 00). According to Morr isette (2001), however, between 1988 and 1998, land trusts alone protecte d over 2 million U.S. acres via CEs. Despite the lack of concrete numbers, it is evident that the popularity of using CEs to preserve private lands is growing significantly. For example, between 1988 and 2003, land trusts protection of acreage using CEs increased by 1,624% (Byers & Marchetti Ponte, 2005). As of 2004, approximately 92 easements in Florida had been bought less-than-fee-intere st (meaning less than full ownership of all the lega l rights associated with a pr operty as opposed to buying land outright) by the Florida Wate r Management Districts and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Mashour, 2004). Additional CEs have been donated or sold to private organizations, such as The Nature Conservancy. Despite the heightened focus on using CE s as a land conservation tool, research documenting key characteristics and factors in fluencing the decision to engage in a CE agreement is lacking. In Florida, such information would be esp ecially useful considering the trends of heightened rural land value and development pressures. 19

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Significance of the Problem According to Feather and Bernard (2003), re gions of the U.S. experiencing rapid population growth along with rapid development of open spaces are predicted as top candidates for future CE programs. Perhaps this explains why in Florida there are more than 70 state and local land trusts, conservation or ganizations and agencies dedicat ing their efforts toward land conservation (Conservation Trust for Florida, 2007). In addition, legislators in the state have publicly marketed their suppor t for CEs by actively encourag ing their donation or sale (Anderson, 2001). Despite the numerous land trusts organizations and agencies committed to land conservation in the state, al ong with the well documented need to conserve private lands, less than one percent of the states total farmland is registered for any t ype of conservation or wetlands reserve program (U.S. Department of Ag riculture, 2006). This percentage falls well below the national average of 3.5% (U.S. Departme nt of Agriculture, 2006). Why is it that in Florida, such a low percentage of landowners have adopted conservation programs despite what the literature suggests about the regions experiencing high gr owth and development rates being primary targets for such programs? Although further research is needed to determine why landowners are not adopting such programs, one potential solution to the lack of conservation program adoption in Florida could be an increased involvement in conservation is sues by the states Cooperative Extension Service (CES). In Ohio, for example, Extension specia lists periodically train agents about land use issues, including CEs, with th e goal of extending this inform ation to clientele (T. Blaine, Associate Professor, Ohio State University Extension, personal communication, October 10, 2007). Aside from such training workshops, most of the research aboutand involvement in CEs in Extension falls on the demand side, includ ing willingness of the p ublic to pay for green space and CEs (Blaine, Lichtkoppler, & Stanbro, 2003; Blaine & Smith, 2006). Research on the 20

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supply side, including likelihood of landowner adoption of a CE, is currently lacking within Extension. The overall involvement with private land conservation in Florida CES in particular is very low (J. Dusky, Associate Dean of Agricultura l Programs, personal communication, September 14, 2007). Despite the limited involvement with land conservation issues in Florida CES, there is a demand for tools to curb devel opment pressures in the state. For example, in a statewide needs assessment with Florida Extension agents, development and population increase were listed as the top challenge facing counties across the state (Brain, Irani, Hodges, & Fuhrman, 2008). The next four highest challenges faci ng county Extension efforts in Flor ida were also either directly or indirectly associated with population increase (Brain et al., 2008). Lambert et al. (2006) stated that Extension agents can help reduce the per ceived risks associated with land conservation and increase the number of farm ope rators considering changing th eir practices. Because Extension agents help clientele adopt best practices, prov iding them with the necessary information and tools concerning CEs, especially those who are more likely to enter into a CE agreement, might increase adoption rates and help curb development in the state. This type of information would also help agents better targ et their programming efforts. Given the (a) lack of research concerning who is more likely to adopt a CE, (b) lack of involvement in Florida Extension with land c onservation, and (c) low percentage of land in conservation or wetlands reserve programs in the st ate, agricultural and rura l lands will continue to be converted into residential and commerci al development at an increasing rate (Bronson, 2002). In fact, if Zwick and Carrs (2006) Fl orida 2060 population projections are accurate, nearly seven million acres of additional Florida la nd will be converted to urban use over the next 50 years, including 2.7 million acres of existing agricultural land and 2.7 million acres of native 21

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habitat. These statistics indi cate that 630,000 acres of land curre ntly under consideration for conservation purchase will be lost by 2060 (Zwick & Carr, 2006). In addition, more than two million acres within one mile of existing conserva tion lands would be converted to an urban use. This will likely result in complete isolation of current conservation lands in the state (Zwick & Carr, 2006). Despite the population projections, the potential to change thes e predictions is large given that approximately 70% (over 24 million acres) of Floridas total land area remains either in forest, pastureland, rangeland, or crops (Clouser, 2006b). Of that, rangeland alone consists of 6,040,629 acres, equaling 58% of all farmland in the state (Veneman, Jen, & Bosecker, 2004). Ninety-five percent of this rangeland (5,738,598 acres) is estima ted to be in beef cattle production (A. Bordelon, Florida Agricultural Statistics Service, personal communication, June 4, 2007). In 2006, the National Agricu ltural Statistics Se rvice estimated a total of 18,800 cattle operations in Florida (National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2007). The majority (13,900) of these ranches were small, with only 1-49 head of cattle. However, there are an estimated 4,900 ranches with at least 50 head of cattle in the state. Florida cattle ranches in partic ular have been documented as providing critically important wildlife habitat for many plants and animals that are either endangered, threatened, or species of concern (Main, Demers, & Hostetler, 2005). Fo r example, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimates that over 50 % of the habitat used by endangered Florida panthers is on privately owned land, predominan tly cattle ranches (Main et al., 2004). Ranching also helps protect water resources provides natural greenways for wildlife, and preserves several other components of the natural landscape (Main et al., 2004). Without a better understanding of 22

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what would motivate Florida cattle ranchers to ad opt CEs, the threat of land use conversion from valuable habitat to urban development will continue to rise. Linking the Theory of Planned Behavior wi th Land Conservation Research to Predict Conservation Easement Adoption The theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1985) provides a useful framework with which to explore potential influences on la ndowners decisions to adopt CEs. This theory is a predictive model used to explain and pred ict behavioral inten tion in a variety of applied contexts. According to the theory, the intent to engage in a CE agreement will not result solely from a broad set of information about the benefits suppo rting CEs. Instead, an individuals intent to engage will be a function of thei r (a) attitudes about entering into a CE agreement, (b) subjective normative beliefs, and (c) perceived control regardi ng their ability to enter into a CE agreement. As such, if landowners have a pos itive attitude toward entering into a CE agreement, if they expect that entering into a CE agreement is a pproved by important others, and if they perceive that engaging in a CE agreement is in their contro l, the theory of planned behavior predicts that such landowners intentions to enter into an ag reement will be greater. While the theory of planned behavior suggests that individuals attitu des, subjective normative beliefs, and perceived behavioral control influences their intention to ac t, are these three components enough to accurately predict ones la nd conservation behavior? Existing studies on conservation behavior woul d suggest that ones environmental identity, trust, past behavior, and percepti on of specific CE characteristics would offer further potential in explaining and predicting the likeli hood of entering into a CE agr eement. Environmental identity is defined as the meanings that one attributes to the self as they relate to the environment (Stets & Biga, 2003). Environmental ident ity scales are used to help determine how individuals view 23

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themselves and their actions in relationship to the natura l environment. As a result, they measure ones basic environmental values as oppos ed to their attitudes or beliefs. Although environmental identity has not been used in conjunction with the theory of planned behavior, self identity has previously been used as an independent variable within the theory (Granberg & Holmberg, 1990; Hagger & Ch atzisarantis, 2006; Spar ks & Guthrie, 1998; Sparks & Shepherd, 1992). Conner and Armitage (1998) define self identity as the salient part of an actors self which relates to a particular behavior (p. 1444). Each of the studies listed above found that self identity had a significant effect on behavioral intention, independent of the other theory of planned behavior variables. The influence of trust may also play a key role in ones decision to enter into a CE agreement. As an example, in a study regard ing perceptions of CEs among Florida landowners, 12.6% of the open-ended survey comments concer ned mistrust of the government (Mashour, 2004). Similarly, the Natural Resources Conser vation Service (2003a) identified government mistrust as a major barrier to influencing adoption of nutrient management practices among U.S. farmers and ranchers. A study with Colorado landow ners also revealed that confidence in the land trust issuing a CE was the most significan t issue that influenced the outcome of CE placement (Marshall, Hoag, & Seidl, 2000). Previous studies have also found that past behavior had an in dependent effect in predicting future behavior when used within the theory of planned behavior (A arts, Verplanken, & van Knippenberg, 1998; Brickell, Chatzisarantis, & Pretty, 2006; De Young, 2000; Eagly & Chaiken, 1993). However, past behavior is generally measured in the c ontext of a habitual behavior instead of a related behavioral action (i.e. rela ted past experiences with CEs, such as attending a CE workshop, as a predictor of entering into a CE agreement). Given that entering into a CE 24

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agreement is a one-time behavioral act, related past behaviors were analyzed as opposed to identical ones. Conner and Armitage (1998) stated that the extent to which past behavior predicts future behavior as a function of an individuals self-identity is clearly a matter for further investigation (p. 1445). Lastly, CE literature would suggest that the perceived influence of a specific set of CE characteristics might affect one s decision to enter into a CE agreement. As identified in literature and past studies concerning CEs, certain characteristic s (such as sale of development rights and the perpetual nature of CEs) are viewed as either positive or negative influences in entering into a CE agreement (Anderson, 2001; Byers & Marchetti Ponte, 2005; Gustanski & Squires, 2000; Marshall et al., 2000; Mashour, 2004; Rilla & Sokolow, 2000; The Nature Conservancy, 2004). There is a la ck of research, however, exam ining the relationship between ones perception of specific CE characteristic s as positive or negative influencers and their decision to enter into a CE agreement. Thorough review of the l iterature shows that studies either examining or testing the theory of planned behavior along with e nvironmental identity, trust, past behavior, and/or perceptions of specific characteristics ar e lacking in the area of land conser vation. The use of these variables within the theory of pl anned behavior in the context of CE agreements is discussed further in Chapter 2. Purpose Given the lack of studies examining or tes ting behavioral theories in the area of land conservation, combined with the numerous conservation organizations advocating CEs in Florida, there is a need to be tter understand which key factors predict the likelihood of entering into a CE agreement. Currently, the rate of rural land loss in Florida remains high while the rate of conservation program adoption is low. Florida cattle ranchers in particular are in an ideal 25

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position to participate in a CE agreement due to the financial incentives involved with CE adoption and the opportunity to make a notable ecological contribution ba sed on their large land size and ecological land value. Howe ver, Florida cattle rancher part icipation in CEs is minimal. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to expl ain and predict which variables influence the likelihood of entering into a CE agreement among Florida cattle ranchers. As previously mentioned, Florida cattle ranches co mprise over half of the total farmland in the state (Veneman et al., 2004). Thus, they are also among the top target audiences for CE programs delivered by conservation organizations in Florida (B. Shires Conservation Trust for Florida, personal communication, February 23, 2007). Overview of Methods Using a descriptive survey research design, this study measured th e influence of cattle rancher attitudes, subjective normative beliefs, perceived be havioral control, environmental identity, trust, past behavior, perceptions of specific CE characteristics, and demographics on behavioral intent to enter into a CE agreement. A predictive model of CE adoption behavior was developed from these variables. Participants were selected from the Florida Farm Bureau list of cattle ranchers ( N = 2,700). Given this population size, a sample of approximately 350 cattle ranchers was needed for a precision of +/five percent (Dillman, 2007; Is rael, 2003). Stratified random sampling was used to separate participants by projected county growth from 2008-2012 (Ary, Jacobs, Razavieh, & Sorenson, 2006). Ranc hers were stratified to examine potential differences given predicted future developmen t pressures by county and to ensure an equal representation across the state. Florida Farm Bureau was chosen as the study pa rtner due to the organizations (a) interest in learning about and utilizing th e study results, (b) willingness to fund the study, and (c) neutral stance concerning CEs. As stated in the 2008 Farm Bureau Policie s guide, Farm Bureaus stance 26

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on conservation easements is as follows: We be lieve that any future land acquisition programs should include less-than-fee simple acquisitions such as the purc hase of development rights or conservation easements or agricultural easemen tsWe support less-than-fee acquisitions as long as they are voluntary, incentive-based, and allo w for the continued econom ically viable use of the property for agriculture (p. 43). Farm Bur eau views CEs as allowing for (a) limited state financial resources to be stretche d further, (b) private landowners to maintain the stewardship of property-saving tax payer dollars that would have otherwise been needed for management, (c) the land to stay on tax rolls, and (d) continued economic activity on the property (Florida Farm Bureau, 2008). The dependent variable for this study was partic ipant behavioral intent to engage in a CE agreement. Participants who were in the proce ss of entering into a CE agreement or who had already done so were analyzed se parately. In accordance with th e theory of planned behavior, independent variables included: Attitude Subjective normative beliefs Perceived behavioral control Antecedent variables (indirect influencers) included: Environmental identity Trust Past behavior Perception of specific CE characteristics Participant demographics These variables will be individu ally operationalized in chapter 3. Study Objectives The following objectives guided this study: 1. Describe participants in terms of se lected demographic characteristics. 27

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2. Identify the relationship betw een selected demographic characteristics and environmental identity, trust, past behavior, perception of specific CE characteristic s, attitudes, subjective normative beliefs, perceived behavioral control, and behavioral intent. 3. Predict CE adoption using participant demographics, environmental identity, trust, past behavior, perception of specific CE characterist ics, attitudes, subjec tive normative beliefs, and/or perceived behavioral control. Research Hypotheses Given the literature on the theory of pla nned behavior and cons ervation behavior, the following research hypotheses were developed: Higher levels of environmental identity will lead to a greater like lihood of entering into a CE agreement. Higher (more positive) ratings of CE characteri stics will result in a greater likelihood of entering into a CE agreement. A higher level of trust will lead to an increa sed likelihood of entering into a CE agreement. Attitude, subjective normative beliefs, and percei ved behavioral control (the theory of planned behavior variables) wi ll explain the greatest degree of variance in behavioral intent. Definition of Terms The following are definitions for terms used throughout the study: 1. Attitude : A learned predisposition to respond in a consistently favorable or unfavorable manner with respect to a give n subject matter (in this case, conservation easements) (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). 2. Behavioral beliefs : Beliefs about the likely consequences or other attributes of a behavior (adopting a conservation easement) (Ajzen, 2002). 3. Behavioral intention : Formed by a combination of an attitude toward engaging in a conservation easement agreement, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control (Ajzen, 2002). 4. Cattle rancher : For the sake of this study, any indivi dual in Florida who is a member of Florida Farm Bureau and has declared him/he rself as being involved primarily in beef production. 5. Conservation easement : A legal agreement between a la ndowner and eligible organization restricting activities that may take place on a property in orde r to protect the land against 28

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future real estate development, industrial us e, and many potential commercial uses (Byers & Marchetti Ponte, 2005; Small, 1998). 6. Environmental identity : The meanings one attributes to the self as they relate to the environment (Stets & Biga, 2003). 7. Perceived behavioral control : Ones perception of how easy or difficult it is to perform a behavior, relating to the concept of self-e fficacy (Bandura, 1994; Eagly & Chaiken, 1993). 8. Salient beliefs : The primary determinants impacting the intention of either performing or not performing the behavior of entering into a cons ervation easement agreement. The theory of planned behavior postulates that humans hold numerous beliefs toward a specific behavior, but may attend to only a few (normally five to nine) salient beliefs in any given situation (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980). 9. Subjective norm : Beliefs about the normative expecta tions of other people resulting in perceived social pre ssure (Ajzen, 2002). 10. Theory of planned behavior : A model proposing that human action is guided by behavioral beliefs (producing attitudes), normative beliefs (producing subjectiv e norms), and control beliefs (producing perceived behavioral contro l), which combine to formulate a behavioral intention leading to an actual behavior (Ajzen, 1991). Significance of the Research Theoretical Contribution The theoretical element of this study consists of two parts: (1) using the theory of planned behavior to predict the like lihood of entering into a CE ag reement, and (2) testing the relationship between ones attitude subjective normative beliefs, perceived behavioral control, environmental identity, level of trust, past behavior perception of specific CE characteristics, and behavioral intent. Since research applying behavior al theories in the context of land conservation is currently lacking, the use of the theory of planned behavior as a predictive model in this study is an attempt to help fill this research gap. In addition, this study used multivariate statistics including multiple linear regression and structural equation modeling to (a) determine which variables explained the most variance in beha vioral intent/behavior, and (b) analyze the direct and indirect effects of variable s in the model. 29

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Practical Contribution Given the prevalence of conservation trusts, organizations, and agen cies dedicating their efforts toward land conservation in Florida, this research will provide land conservation educators with information about what types of va riables have an influen ce on behavioral intent to enter into a CE agreement. In addition, the USDA Forest Service has voice d a need for locally implemented growth management in the southern U.S. (Monroe et al., 2003). Monroe et al (2003) argue that easements are an important tool in growth mana gement and have advocated the need to conduct attitudinal and behavioral surv eys in relation to this topi c. The USDA Economic Research Service also called for research predicting a doption of conservation practices and programs (Lambert et al., 2006). Lambert et al. (2006) found that the use of conservation practices and programs varied depending on the landowner and fa rm type, indicating the need for targeted research toward specific farm types. This study w ill help address such priority research needs. Lastly, although the Florida Cooperative Extension Services involvement with CE agreements is currently limited, an interest has been voiced in attaining information about such tools to curb the states high development rate (C. Sanders, Alachua County Livestock Extension Agent, personal communication, June 5, 2007). As previously mentioned, this need was also cited in a statewide needs assessment with Florida Extension agents, where land development was identified as the most important agricultura l and natural resources challenge facing counties across the state (Brain et al., 2008). If provided w ith the necessary information, Lambert et al. (2006) mentioned that Extension agents can help reduce the perceived risks associated with land conservation and increase the number of farm operators considering change. This study will be a useful tool for change agents with an inclination to curb de velopment pressure in Florida. 30

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Limitations Due to the focus on cattle ranchers as the target population for this study there is a lack of generalizability to agricultural producers other th an cattle ranchers in Florida who are members of Florida Farm Bureau. In addition, given the Flor ida-specific focus of th is study, the results are not generalizable to other states. However, Morgan and Hodgkinson (1999) advocate the need for conducting site-specific research, despit e the apparent lack of generalizability. Another limitation relates to measurement error. In order to address th is, a panel of experts was used to ensure face and cont ent validity of the survey instrument and principal component factor analysis procedures were used to ensu re construct validity, re liability, and test for dimensionality of the data (a data reduction t echnique). Methods associated with the tailored design method (Dillman, 2007) were used to adju st for the potential of measurement error associated with instrument design and layout. Th e instrument also underwent a two-phase pilot test with a sample of cattle ranchers to furthe r reduce measurement error. Finally, coverage error was minimized by ensuring the Florida Farm Bureau list was free of duplicates and contamination, and participants were selected fr om this list using stratified random selection. This ensured that all members of the stratified population had an equal ch ance of being selected. Limitations to mail surveys include the inability to clarify or ask follow-up questions, a lower response rate, which adds the potential for nonresponse bias, and a lack of control over who actually completes the survey (Jacobson, 1999). A threat to nonresponse also lies in the fact that this survey was conducted within the same year of the mandatory National Agricultural Statistics Services Census of Agriculture. Th is census was hypothesized to reduce willingness among ranchers to complete another survey. Thus, Dillmans (2007) recommendations for reducing nonresponse bias were closely followed. 31

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32 Assumptions In using a mail-out questionnaire for this study, the researcher assumes that participants were honest in completing the que stionnaire. The researcher also assumes that the landowner addressed was the individual w ho completed the instrument. Summary This chapter described the current trends in rural land loss and introduced conservation easements (the most widely used land conservati on tool in the U.S.) as one approach to combat these trends. In Florida, the rate of rural land loss falls well above the national average, despite the numerous conservation organizations thr oughout the state focusing on land conservation. Thus, there is a heightened need for research measuring the factors influencing landowners decisions to adopt a conservation easement on th eir land. Given that cattle ranches consist of over five million acres of land in the state, fact ors increasing the likelihood that Florida cattle ranchers would partake in a conservation easement agreement must be determined. The theory of planned behavior along with environmental ident ity, trust, past behavi or, and perceptions of specific conservation easement characteristics were proposed to measure Fl orida cattle ranchers behavioral intent to partake in a conservation easement agreement.

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction In Chapter 1, the use of conservation easem ents (CEs) as a land conservation tool was reviewed, including the popularity of using this approach for private landowners. However, Chapter 1 also illustrated that in Florida the percentage of landowners adopting land conservation practices and programs falls below the national average, indicating the need to better understand factors influenci ng CE adoption in the state. Various calls for research concerning CE adoption were also discussed in Chapter 1, including (a) attitudinal and behavioral surveys regarding growth management, (b) predictive research in the area of adopting conservation programs and practices, (c ) research targeted toward specific farm types, and (d) a request from the Florida Cooperative Extension Service for rigorous and objective measurement of influences on landowner decisions to enter into a CE agreement. Aside from public and landowner per ceptions, along with studies concerning use and management of CEs by agencies and organizatio ns, no research to-date has measured landowner behavioral intent to enter into a CE agreemen t. The theory of planned behavior was also introduced as a theoretical model of potential util ity in understanding influences to engage in a CE agreement. Research testing the theory of pl anned behavior, or any behavioral theories, with CE adoption is lacking. This chapter will (a) introduce the theory of planned behavior in the context of conservation behavior, (b) provide a rationale for including environmental identity, trust, past behavior, and perceptions of speci fic CE characteristics into the theory of planned behavior in predicting the likelihood of entering into a CE agreement, a nd (c) summarize available literature on the relationship between par ticipant characteristics and th e likelihood of engagement in 33

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environmentally-responsible behaviors. In additi on, this chapter will compare the theory of planned behavior with other popul ar behavior change theories used in explaining conservation behavior. All of these factors are then combined in a conceptual model (Figure 2-3), which will guide this study and future research. The Theory of Planned Behavior and Re search Involving Conservation Behavior The theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1988, 1991) is one of the most widely explored social psychology behavioral models used in explaining and predicting human behavior (Armitage & Conner, 2001). The ex tensive use of the theory is justified to some degree by the amount of variance explained in bo th actual behavior and behavioral intent. For example, from a database of 185 separate studies using the theory of planned beha vior, the theory accounted for an average of 27% of the variance in actual beha vior, and 39% in behavior al intention (Armitage & Conner, 2001). The theory of planned behavior emanated from the theory of reasoned action (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980; Fishbein & Ajze n, 1975), with the addition of a perceived behavioral control variable to the original model. The theory of reasoned action stemme d from the expectancyvalue tradition, which helps to explain the re lationship between attit udes and the evaluative meaning of beliefs (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993). Th e expectancy-value model asserts that ones attitude is a function of ones be liefs. Beliefs are depicted as th e sum of expected values of the attributes ascribed to an attit ude object. Expected values have both an expectancy (the subjective probability that an attitude object has or is characterized by an attribute) and a value (the evaluation of an attribute) component. The exp ectancy-value model propo ses that evaluation of an attitude object is a summation of the evaluations associated with the particular attributes that are ascribed to that attitude object, which is depicted as follows: Attitude = (Expectancy Value) (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993). 34

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Stemming from the expectancy-v alue tradition, both the theory of reasoned action and the theory of planned behavior were designed to predict and explain human behavior in specific contexts (Ajzen, 1991). Most of th e specific contexts targeted via the theory of planned behavior have been health related. For instance, in a collection of studies by Ajzen (2007) that have applied the theory of planned behavior, ex ercise, condom use, or gan and blood donation, nutrition, alcohol consumption, dieting, and sm oking were the most commonly utilized application contexts. However, the theory of planned behavior ha s also been used in conservation-related studies, albeit to a much lesser de gree. Most conservation-related research using the theory of planned behavior has focused on (a) recycling or pollution-related i ssues (Chu & Chiu, 2003; Cordano & Frieze, 2000; Klocke & Wagner, 2000; Knussen Yule, MacKenzie, & Wells, 2004; Mannetti, Pierro, & Livi, 2004), (b) general pr oenvironmental and conservation intentions (Kaiser, 2006; Kaiser & Gutsch er, 2003; Kaiser, Hbner, & Bogne r, 2005; Kaiser & Scheuthle, 2003), or (c) sustainable shopping habits, such as using material bags and/or buying environmentally friendly products (Lam & Chen, 2006; Robinson & Smith, 2002; Sparks & Shepherd, 1992). Few studies have applied the theory of pl anned behavior to in vestigate conservation behavior among farmers and ranchers specifically Studies that do exis t concern a doption of water-saving irrigation technology or wildlife co nservation-related beliefs. In Florida, for example, a study investigated water-saving irrigation technology adoption decisions by 40 randomly selected Florida stra wberry farmers (Lynne, Casey, Hodges, & Rahmani, 1995). The researchers examined the theory of reasoned ac tion, the theory of pla nned behavior, and the 35

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theory of derived demand, and found the theory of planned behavior supe rior in explaining the variance in intention to invest in micro-irrigation technology. Another conservation-related study using the th eory of planned behavior was conducted in Bedfordshire, UK, and assessed 100 farmers general wildlife conservation-related beliefs. The goals of this study were to (a) discover wh ich types of farmers held general wildlife conservation-related beliefs, a nd (b) assess the usefulness of so cial-psychology models such as the theory of planned behavior in explaining why farmers differ in th eir behavior (Beedell & Rehman, 2000). Using a descriptive survey appr oach, Beedell and Rehman (2000) found that farmers who were either members of conserva tion organizations or a farming and wildlife advisory group were more influenced by conservation-related con cerns and less by farm management concerns than general farmers in the area. This finding indicates the potential influence of norms in predicting conservation be havior. The authors recommended the theory of planned behavior in researching farmer conservation-related beliefs, specifically when relating conservation behavior to its underlying belief systems. Although a select number of studies exist us ing the theory of planned behavior to investigate the conservation-related behaviors of fa rmers and ranchers, there is an overall lack of predictive models in the area of CE adoption in particular. Instead, the available human dimensions research concerning CEs either assessed: (a) landowne r satisfaction with conservation restrictions (Elconi n & Luzadis, 1997); (b) landowners attitudes toward the use of conservation easements in preserving wildlife ha bitat and agricultural land (Pauley, 1996); (c) public willingness to pay for conservation easeme nts (Blaine et al., 2003; Blaine & Smith, 2006; Cho, Newman, & Bowker, 2005); (d) farmers mo tivations, experiences, and perceptions of conservation easements (Rilla & Sokolow, 2000); or (e) Florida landowners perceptions and 36

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prices of conservation easements (Mashour, 2004). Gi ven the lack of behavioral models used in CE research, this study applied the theory of planned behavior to explain and predict the likelihood of entering in to a CE agreement. Theoretical Framework The theory of planned behavior posits that on es behavior is a func tion of certain salient beliefs related to that behavior (Ajzen, 1991). Sp ecifically, behavior is believed to be guided by three kinds of salient beliefs: (1) behavioral beliefs : beliefs about likely outcomes of the targeted behavior and the associated evaluations of these outcomes, (2) normative beliefs : beliefs about normative expectati ons of important individuals or groups regarding the targeted behavior, and (3) control beliefs : beliefs about factors pote ntially aiding or impeding performance of the behavior along with the pe rceived power of thos e factors (Ajzen, 1991; 2006a). The three salient beliefs are assumed to underlie three corresponding variables in the theory of planned behavior: (1) behavioral beliefs produce a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward the targeted behavior, (2) normative beliefs constitute a perceived subjective norm and (3) control beliefs determine perceived behavioral control (Ajzen, 1991). The three variables of (1) attitudes toward the behavior, (2) subjective norms, and (3) perceived behavioral control pred ict behavioral intention, which is assumed to be the direct antecedent of behavior (Ajzen, 1991; 2006a; Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980). The theory of planned behavior model is displayed in Figure 2-1 (the re lationship between intention and actual behavior is explored in depth later in this chapter). 37

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Behavioral Beliefs Normative Beliefs Attitude toward the behavior Subjective Norm Intention Figure 2-1. The theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991). Attitude Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) define an attitude as an evaluation of an attribute and a function of beliefs linking that attribute to other characteristics and evalua tions of those characteristics. According to Fishbein and Ajzen (1975), an attitude has three basic component s: (1) it is learned, (2) it predisposes action, and (3) such actions ar e consistently favorable or unfavorable towards an object or concept. Similarly, Summers (1970) de scribes an attitude as (a) a predisposition to respond, (b) persistent over time, (c) suscep tible to change, but not easily, (d) producing consistency in behavior, and (e) be ing directional. In relation to th ese descriptions of an attitude, Pierce, Manfredo, and Vaske (2001) st ated that the more specific an attitude is, the better it is for predicting a specific behavior. The more salient an attitude, th e more likely it is to influence behavior. The more strongly held an attitude, the more difficult it is to change (p. 53). In the context of the theory of planned behavior, attitude is directed specifically toward engaging in the behavior itself instead of the mo re general attitudes toward obj ects, institutions, organizations, and other people. Thus, an attitude is a function of the salient, behavioral be liefs held about the targeted behavior (Ajzen, 1988). Behavioral beliefs represent th e perceived consequences of e ngaging in a behavior (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993). This reasoning stems from the expectancy-value tradition, where Control Beliefs Perceived Behavioral Control Behavior 38

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consequences are quantified by multiplying the subjective likelihood that a consequence will result from the behavior by th e evaluation of that consequence. The Expectancy Value products are then summed over the various sali ent consequences (Eag ly & Chaiken, 1993). In measuring attitude within the th eory of planned behavior, the to tal evaluation of the attributes associated with the behavior a nd the strength of those associa tions are measured (Ajzen, 1991). Each attribute evaluation is multiplied by its associated belief strength and all products are summed together. This summation provides an indirect estimate of the individuals attitude toward the behavior based on the salient beli efs held about the behavior (Ajzen, 1988). The connection between an attitude toward a beha vior and behavioral beliefs is expressed algebraically as follows: AB = bi ei n i 1In this model, bi is the behavioral belief that perfor ming a behavior leads to a consequence i ; ei is the evaluation of consequence i ; and n is the number of salien t consequences (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993). The contribution of the attitude component on an individuals performance or nonperformance of a given behavior can either be positive or negative depending on the summation. Therefore, in the case of entering into a CE agreement, a ranchers attitude will be determined via the summation of behavioral beliefs multiplied by each corresponding evaluation of the consequences of entering into the agreement. Concerning the relationship between an attitude and behavioral intention, Fishbein (1967) reported that it is generally stable, strong, and positive. Although the correlations vary considerably depending on the type of behavioral intentions pres ented, Fishbein (1967) stated that the relationship between an attitude and the sum of behavior al intentions tends to be high. 39

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While ones attitude may initially be relate d to a certain behavioral intention, this association may or may not persist depending on how specific and often the reinforcement associated with the behavioral intention is pr ovided (Fishbein, 1967). Th e reinforcement aspect in sustaining the association be tween ones attitude and behavior al intention relates well with McKenzie-Mohr and Smiths (1999) discussion about the importance of prompts in social marketing to sustain pro-environmental behavior change. However, because entering into a CE agreement does not require reinforcement to sustain the targeted behavi or (i.e. as a behavior like exercise would), the persiste nce aspect of attitudes was not utilized in this study. Subjective Norm The subjective norm construct in the theory of planned behavior is measured via its underlying normative beliefs (Ajzen, 1991). No rmative beliefs assess the likelihood that important referent individuals or groups approve or disapprove of perfor ming a given behavior (Ajzen, 1991, p. 195). Each normative beliefs st rength is multiplied by a persons motivation to comply with the index in question, and the subjective norm is direc tly proportional to the sum of the resulting products across the n salient indices. Thus, subj ective normative beliefs are quantified via the multiplication of (a) the subjective likelihood that a particular significant other (or referent) believes the targeted individual s hould perform the behavior, by (b) the targeted individuals motivation to comp ly with that referents expe ctation (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993). Similar to the expectancy value tradition, the su bjective norm model is expr essed algebraically as follows: SN = bj mj r j 1 40

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In this model, bj is the normative belief that a referent j believes a targ eted individual should perform the behavior, mj is the motivation to comply with that referent j and r is the number of relevant referents. Although some researchers have found collinearity issues between the subjective normative construct and attitudinal construct of the theory of planned behavior (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993), many studies have shown an i ndependent significant relationship between subjective norms and behavioral intent. For example, in a study by Young and Kent (1985), peoples intentions to camp were found to be influenced by be liefs about whether significant others, such as family members, felt they s hould camp (controlling for other variables in the model). In a more recent study by Bright, Fis hbein, Manfredo, and Bath (1993), peoples support of controlled burns in national parks was influenced by what they believed others who were important to them thought they should think about the issue, controlling for other variables in the model. This discussion about subjective norms differs slightly from the concept of social norms, where the latter concerns compliance with socially acceptable behavior in groups (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993). In community-based social marke ting, for example, the concept of social norms is used as a tool to increase the likelihood of behavioral enga gement (McKenzie-Mohr & Smith, 1999). This concept stems from social marketing theory and posits that certain techniques, such as modeling behavior, can establish a social norm in which those who are partaking in the targeted behavior will feel a sense of belonging (McKenzie-Mohr & Smith, 1999). Perceived Behavioral Control The perceived behavioral control component of the theory of planned behavior separated the theory from the theory of reasoned action (Ajzen, 1991). Percei ved behavioral control stems from Banduras (1977) work on se lf-efficacy, which refers to beliefs in ones capabilities to 41

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organize and execute the course s of action required to produce gi ven levels of attainments (Bandura, 1998, p. 624). Ajzen (2002) stated that this specific component of self efficacy theory relates best with perceived beha vioral control, which focuses on the perceived abili ty to perform a particular behavior. The perceived behavioral control construct was a dded as an attempt to deal with situations where complete volitional control over a behavior may be lacking (A jzen, 2002). Ajzen (1985) hypothesized that in situations wh en behaviors are more difficult to execute, control over needed resources, opportunities, and skills needs to be taken into ac count. In the case of entering into a CE agreement, the process is generally both lengthy and complex. As a result, the perceived behavioral control construct was applied. In measuring perceived behavioral control, actual behavioral c ontrol must be considered as well. Actual behavioral control refers to the availability of needed resources and opportunities required to engage in a behavior, whereas perceived behavioral control refers to ones perception of the ease or difficulty of performing the behavior of interest (Ajzen, 1991). According to Ajzen (1991), the ability to substitute perceived behavi oral control for actual control depends on the level of accuracy of the perceptions. For example, perceived beha vioral control might not be realistic if (a) one has little information about th e targeted behavior, (b) requirements or available resources have changed, or (c) new and unfamilia r components have entered into the situation (Ajzen, 1991). In such situations, perceived be havioral control could add little accuracy to predicting behavior (Ajzen 1985; 1991). Therefor e, to assist in accurate measurement of perceived behavioral control, a peer reviewed definition of a CE agreement will be included in the instrument for this study. 42

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To quantify perceived behavioral control, Ajzen (1991) multiplies each control belief ( c ) by the perceived power ( p) of the particular control factor to assist or inhibit performance of a targeted behavior. The products stemming from this multiplication are summed across the n salient control beliefs to produce perceived behavioral control, wh ich is displayed algebraically as follows: PBC = ci pi n i 1Environmental Identity In addition to the theory of planned behavi or variables, this study also analyzed the influence of environmental identity, trust, past behavior, perceptions of specific CE characteristics, and participant demographics in predicting engagement in a CE agreement. Identity has been measured in several studies as an additional independent variable within the theory of planned behavior, albeit generally in terms of self identity (Granberg & Holmberg, 1990; Hagger & Chatzisarantis, 2006; Sparks & Guthrie, 1998; Sparks & Shepherd, 1992). Given that components of self id entity are included in environm ental identity, and that research combining environmental identity with the theory of planned behavior is lacking, both self identity and environmental identity will be discussed. Self identity connects the disciplines of sociology and social ps ychology and is defined as the salient part of an actors self which relates to a particular behavior (Conner & Armitage, 1998, p. 1444). According to Decker, Brown, and Siem er (2001), our identity is connected with our underlying values, which are often formed early in life. As a result, ones identity is extremely resistant to change once it is established and may have strong predictive power in behavioral intention. 43

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Sparks and Shepherd (1992) examined self iden tity as a variable w ithin the theory of planned behavior in measuri ng attitudes toward the consum ption of organically produced vegetables. Self identity was defined by these authors via two measures concerning respondent identification with the concept of green consum erism. These measures included the statements: I think of myself as a green consumer a nd I think of myself as someone who is very concerned with green issues (Sparks & Sh epherd, 1992, p. 392). Respondents selected from a Likert-type scale ranging from disagree very strongly and agree very strongly, and from these two measures, a highly signi ficant independent effect wa s found for the self identity variable. In addition to self id entity, Sparks and Shepherd (1992) also examined past behavior and found that self identity contri buted an effect independent of th at contributed by past behavior (measured in their study as past consumption of organic food). Coinciding with Sparks and Shepherds (1992) findings, in a study on voti ng intentions Granberg and Holmberg (1990) found that both self identity and prior behavior had independent effects on behavioral intention and voting behavior. Similarly, a study in the United Kingdom with randomly selected members of the general population ( n = 235) showed that self identi fication as a health-conscious consumer had a predictive effect on intentions to consume a diet low in animal fats (R-squared = 0.80), independent of the effects of the other th eory of planned behavi or variables (Sparks & Guthrie, 1998). In this study, self identity as a health-conscious consumer was measured via three health-conscious identity que stions (including, for example, I think of myself as a healthconscious person) with option choices ranging fr om disagree strongly to agree strongly. Following a review of the literature using self identity as an additional independent variable within the theory of planned behavior, intention-self iden tity correlations were found to range from .06 to .71 (Conner & Armitage, 1998). Due to this wide range, Conner and Armitage 44

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(1998) called for further research in the area of self identity as an additional variable within the theory of planned behavior. Sparks and Guthrie (1998) also called for furt her research regarding the process in which self iden tity influences intention. In conjunction with the calls fo r further research involving self identity and the theory of planned behavior, Clayton and Opotow (2003) st ated that environmental scholarship has not given sufficient consideration to the relationship between ones identity a nd his/her connection to the natural environment. In disc ussing identity, these authors cl aim that individuals have many identities which vary in sa lience and importance depending on the context and ones past experiences. In describing identity, Cl ayton and Opotow (2003) use the term environmental identity, which they measure via a 24 item Environm ental Identity (EID) scale. This scale is used to detect whether individual di fferences in EID can predict beha vior. The structure of the scale was developed based on factors that determine a co llective and social identity, including salience of the identity, self-identity, sustainable ideol ogy, and positive emotions associated with nature (Clayton and Opotow, 2003). Examples of statements within the EID scale include I think of myself as part of nature, not separate from it, and I feel that I have roots to a particular geographic location that had a significant impact on my deve lopment (Clayton & Opotow, 2003, pp. 61-62). When tested among 73 students to predict beha vior, the EID scale was highly correlated with environmental behaviors ( r = 0.64). This analysis controlled for other variables in the model including environmental attitudes (measured vi a an Environmental Attitudes Scale developed by Thompson & Barton, 1994), universal human valu es (as identified by Schwartz, 1992), and individualism and collectivism variables (as iden tified by Triandis, 1995). Despite the use of a 24 item EID scale to measure environmental identity, the term environmental identity was not 45

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operationally defined by these authors. Accord ing to Clayton and Opotow (2003), it is difficultand not necessarily desirableto co nstruct a rigid definition of environmental identity (p. 8). In conceptualizing EID, Clay ton and Opotow (2003) l oosely described it as a part of the way in which individuals form their se lf concept: a sense of connection to some part of the nonhuman natural environment, based on hist ory, emotional attachment, and/or similarity, that affect the ways in which we perceive and ac t toward the world; a beli ef that the environment is important to us and an important part of who we are (pp. 45-46). Thus, Clayton and Opotow (2003) perceived environmental identity as the way in which individuals orient themselves to the natural world. Given the lack of a concrete definition of environmental identity by these authors, the following discussion is an attempt to conceptu alize the term environmental identity using various definitions. Weigert (1997) defined envir onmental identity as th e experienced social understandings of who we are in relation to, and how we interact with, the natural environment (p. 159). In a separate study by Stets and Biga (2 003), environmental identity was defined as the meanings that one attributes to the self as they relate to the environment (p. 406). In this study, the authors used proenvironmental behavior as the dependent variable and EID, environmental attitudes, gender identity, and demographic characteristics as the independent variables. Environmental identity was measured using 11 bipolar statements, where respondents were asked to consider how they viewed themselves in relationship to the environment. Using factor analysis, the items formed a single factor with an omega reliability of .91. The authors found that EID had the strongest significant e ffect on environmental attitudes ( = .45, p < .05) and proenvironmental behavior ( = .31, p < .05). Thus, EID had both a direct and indirect effect on environmental behavior in th eir study (Stets & Biga, 2003). 46

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In a different study with 380 natural science University students in Germany, Bamberg (2003) analyzed the role of e nvironmental concern, measured us ing Presiendrfers (1996) eight item scale, within the framewor k of the theory of planned be havior. The purpose of the study was to test whether environmental concern would be an indirect influence on specific behaviors via its impact on both the generation and evaluati on of situation-specific beliefs. The dependent variable in the study was the decision to acqui re information about gr een electricity products and the local provider of these products (Bamberg, 2003, p. 23) Using structural equation modeling, it was found that controlling for the theory of planned behavior variables, environmental concern did not ha ve a significant direct effect on behavioral intention and behavior, but it did have a direct effect on the normative, behavioral, a nd perceived behavioral control beliefs. Environmental concern explained 40% of the variance in behavioral beliefs, 12% of the variance of control beliefs, and 7% of the variance of normativ e beliefs. It also had a direct effect on subjective norms and perceived behavior al control. When environmental concern was split by the scales median into subgroups of high ( n = 201) and low ( n = 179) environmentally concerned students, Bamberg (2003) found that those with high environmental concern reported significantly higher attitude, subj ective norm and perceived behavior al control scores, and also reported a stronger intention to engage in the dependent variab le. This study warrants further research into the influence of broader values and beliefs measur ed through either environmental concern or EID. For this study, a revised version of Clayt on and Opotows (2003) EID scale was chosen given that the scale items provided the best fit with cattle ranchers. For example, in the EID scale by Stets and Biga (2003), participants are asked to identify themselves in relation to the following bipolar statements: 47

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1. in competition with the natura l environmentin cooperation w ith the natural environment 2. detached from the natural environmentconnected to the natural environment 3. very concerned about the natural environmen tindifferent about the natural environment 4. very protective of the natural environmentnot at all protective of the natural environment 5. superior to the natural environment .inferior to the natural environment 6. very passionate towards the natural environm entnot at all passionate towards the natural environment 7. not respectful of the natural environmentvery respectful of th e natural environment 8. independent from the natural environmen tdependent on the natural environment 9. an advocate of the natural environmentdi sinterested in the natural environment 10. wanting to preserve the natural environment wanting to utilize the natural environment 11. nostalgic thinking about the na tural environmentemotionle ss thinking about the natural environment (p. 409) Although this scale likely fits well with the general public, there would be a greater risk of measurement error if these questions were aske d to cattle ranchers as: (1) ranchers might interpret the single repeated term natural environment in various ways, (2) all ranchers are dependent on the natural environment given their lifestyle and are thus connected to it, and (3) although ranchers might wish to preserve the natural environment, they must use it to survive. Due to the potential lack of f it with Stets and Bigas (2003) EID scale, a revised version of Clayton and Opotows (2003) EID scale was chosen. The original scale contained 24 items, but this scale was reduced to 12 items and the term environmentalist was changed to conservationist following discussion with Dr. Susan Clayton and feedback from The Nature Conservancy, The Conservation Trust for Florida, Fl orida Farm Bureau, and a panel of experts at the University of Florida. The revised scale that was used in this study can be found within the survey instrument in Appendix J. Trust Review of the literature re garding CE adoption and engage ment in other conservation behaviors by farmers and ranchers indicated that trust might play a potential key role in ones decision to enter into a CE agreement. Main et al. (2000) found that purchase of private land for conservation was difficult as many landowners were reluctant to enter negotiations with the 48

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federal government or powerful state agencies with regulatory authority. Supporting their findings, distrust issues concerni ng easements have emerged in se veral other studies, with many landowners expressing a no govern ment in my business standpoi nt (Mashour, 2004; Monroe et al., 2003; Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2003a; Rilla & Sokolow, 2000). In a study with Colorado landowners, Marshall et al. (2000 ) found that higher confidence levels in the conservation organization promoting the CE had a significant influence on ones decision to enter into a CE agreement. Similarly, Pannell, Marshall, Barr, Curtis, Vanclay and Wilkinson (2006) identified trust in the advice of advocates (p. 1412) as a major factor effecting landowners CE adoption decision. In a study using diffusion of innovations (Rogers, 2003) to explain Australian farmers adoption of land conservation innova tions in agriculture, Pannell ( 1999) found that uncertainty in both the innovation and the outcomes of that in novation was a major barr ier to adoption. This uncertainty relates to Rogers (2003) discussi on about how a key issue in the diffusion of innovations is that participants are usually quite heterophilous. A change agent, for instance, is more technically competent than his or her clients. This difference frequently leads to ineffective communication as the two individuals do not sp eak the same language (p. 19). Given that distrust could potentially be a major barrier in ones decision whether to enter into a CE agreement, Byers and Marchetti Ponte (2005) advise d easement holders that the ability of the easement holder to gain community support for its easement program, and capture the interest of key landowners, is critical to the successful im plementation of its conservation priorities plan (p.36). Mistrust issues also exist c oncerning potential penalty give n a violation of an easement provision (Daniels, 1991). Violation, for example, could result in loss of tax benefits or 49

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demolition of new buildings that violated ease ment terms (Byers & Marchetti-Ponte, 2005). Thus, this study analyzed the potential impact of tr ust as a result of the literature indicating that distrust may be a major barrier in ones decision to enter into a CE agreement. Past Behavior Theoretical support also exists for the idea that past behavior is pr edictive of future behavior (De Young, 2000). The use of past behavi or in the theory of planned behavior has previously been applied, but main ly in the context of habitual behaviors. Examples of such behaviors include studying, ex ercise, class attendance, voting, seat belt use, travel mode choice, and blood donation (Aarts et al ., 1998; Brickell et al., 2006; Ea gly & Chaiken, 1993). When used to analyze such habitual behaviors, multiple regression analysis has repeatedly shown that prediction of behavior was improved by adding past behavior or self-reported habit to the theory of planned behavior and its pred iction of intention (Eagly & Chai ken, 1993). For example, in an analysis of 16 studies using past behavior as an additional variable within the theory of planned behavior, Conner and Armitage (1998) found when controlling for attitude subjective norms and perceived behavioral control, past behavior on average explained an additional 7.2% of the variance in behavioral intentions. Generally, the prediction of behavi oral intent from past behavior is of an identical behavior such as past household recycli ng as a predictor of future household recycling (De Young, 2000). However, studies have also found th at past behaviors like household recycling can be effective at predicting similar behaviors such as office recycling habits (Lee, De Young, & Marans, 1995). Kals, Shumacker, and Montada (1999) found that bot h an emotional affinity toward nature and a cognitive interest in nature were linked to past and present expe riences in nature with family members and friends, adding support to the potentia l influence of similar past behaviors. In measuring German adults willingness to protect nature, multiple regression revealed that the 50

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combination of emotional affinity toward natu re, interest in nature and indignation about insufficient nature protection explained up to 47% of the variance (Kals et al., 1999). In addition, 39% of the variance in emotional affinity was tr aced back to present and past experiences in natural environments. In relation to the study by Kals et al. (1999), in a quantita tive study with 2,000 adults living in urban area s throughout the United States, We lls and Lekies (2006) found that childhood participation in nature had a significant positive relationship with current attitudes toward the environment. The authors also found that wild nature participation (such as hiking or playing in the woods, camping, and hunting or fishing) was positiv ely related to adult environmental behaviors (Wells & Lekies, 2006) In the same study, domesticated nature experiences such as picking flow ers or produce, planting trees or seeds, and caring for plants in childhood were marginally related to adult en vironmental behaviors (Wells & Lekies, 2006). Given that engagement in a CE agreement is a one-time behavioral act, unlike those listed above, this study examined the influence of related past experiences, such as attending a CE workshop, on the likelihood of engaging in a CE agreement. Perceptions of Specific Conservat ion Easement Characteristics Although research in the area of CE adoption is limited, a few studies have examined perceived benefits concerning engaging in an easement agreement. Among those studies, the most frequently listed benefit to engaging in a CE has concerned love of the land, which includes keeping land in its current use, preven ting it from being devel oped, the environmental benefits provided by the land, and the perpetual nature of land protection. For example, using a quantitative survey, Marshall et al. (2000) found that Colorado landow ners tended to enter into an easement not for financial reasons, but instead to protect the land by keep ing it in its current use. If the land was being used to graze cattle, for instance, the cattle ca n still graze on it once a CE agreement is set in place. Ma intaining land in its current use was also listed among the top 51

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perceived benefits in four other sources c oncerning CEs (Main et al., 2003; Mashour, 2004; Small, 1998; Wright, 1993). In a separate study using modified focu s groups with Florida easement workshop participants, Mashour (2004) found that k eeping land protected from urban sprawl, environmental benefits, rural community stability environmental preservation, and the perpetual nature of the easement were among the top percei ved benefits of CEs. A follow-up quantitative survey with Florida landowners reinforced that rural community stability, curbing urban sprawl, keeping land in its current use and the perpetual nature of easements were perceived as positive benefits of CEs (Mashour, 2004). Rilla and S okolow (2000) similarly found that California farmers and ranchers viewed pres erving agriculture, curbing deve lopment, the perpetual nature of CEs, tax deductions, and paymen t as positive CE characteristics. Furthermore, in an analysis of donated development rights, Wright (1993) listed contributing open space and protecting habitat as among the top factors helping landow ners meet personal goals for adopting a CE. From a public standpoint, Kline and Wichelns (1996) reported that pe rceived benefits of farmland preservation programs in general included protecting groundwater and wildlife habitat, preserving scenic landscapes, providing public access to outdoor recreation, and preserving natural places. Another major perceived benefit to CE a doption in past studies involved financial incentives, namely the provision of tax relief a nd/or money for selling development rights. For example, Huntsinger and Hopkinson (1996) found that CEs provided a means of addressing California ranchers financial c oncerns through either (a) income/estate tax deductions for the donation of an easement or (b) a po tentially large percenta ge of the less than fee simple price for the sale of an easement. In addition to Huntsinger and Hopkinsons (1996) findings, a variety of 52

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tax-related incentives, including inco me taxes, property taxes, federa l gift taxes, and estate taxes (for the landowner and his/her he irs) have been recognized as top perceived benefits to CE adoption in other studies and reports (Byers & Marchetti Ponte, 2005; Main et al., 2003; Mashour, 2004; Wright, 1993). The second incen tive listed by Huntsinger and Hopkinson (1996)payment for the easementwas also identifie d as a benefit to CE adoption in Feather and Bernards (2003) and Mashour s (2004) studies. Lastly, a study using 12 focus groups across six southern states by the USDA Forest Service reported that individuals representing federal, state, and local interests in natural resource management, indus try, development, conservation, planning, and other relevant fi elds recommended creation of in centives as a vital part of protecting natural resources a nd keeping private lands undevel oped (Monroe et al, 2003). Concerning negative perceptions associated w ith adopting a CE, four major themes have emerged from the literature: (1) complications associated with th e process, includ ing a lack of understanding, lack of clear inform ation, and a lack of time to lear n the information; (2) the cost of managing the land under an ea sement (i.e. preventing invasive species); (3) the appraisal providing too little money to landowners; and (4 ) the perpetual nature of an easement. The first barrier concerns the complexities i nvolved with the easement process. Marshall et al., (2000) found that landowners did not have a good understanding of what to expect when they started considering entering into a CE agreement. The process has been viewed as complicated, confusing, demanding on time, unclear, and lack ing information (Daniels, 1991; Mashour, 2004; Rilla & Sokolow, 2000; Wright, 1994). Similarly, 13% of the comments in a Florida landowner survey about CEs consisted of requests for more information about the entire easement process and what it entailed (Mashour, 2004). 53

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Concerning the second, third, and fourth ba rriers to adopting a CE, Mashour (2004) discovered that the costs of managing the land under an easement, the a ppraisal process itself, and the perpetual nature of a CE were perc eived barriers. For example, many landowners indicated that the incentives involved with the appraisal were too low and that the appraisal itself involved the potential for extend ed periods of negotiating time. As stated by Mashour (2004), easements are not valued (priced) for their na tural value, the restri ctions taken on by the landowners, or the historical va lue protected, but simply for the market value. Furthermore, although the perpetual nature of an easement was considered as a positive aspect by some, it was also found by Mashour (2004) to be a negative infl uence on landowner interest to enter into a CE agreement. The perceived benefits and barriers concerni ng CE adoption relates with Rogers (2003) five characteristics of an i nnovation. These characteristics help explain different rates of behavioral engagement. Rogers (2003) states that there are five main characteristics of an innovation which help explain adoption: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observa bility. Therefore, following diffusion of innovations, individuals are more likely to enter into a CE agreement who (a) perc eive that doing so provi des a better advantage than the alternatives (i.e. of se lling their land), (b) view that doing so is consistent with their existing values, past experiences, and needs, (c ) do not perceive CEs as difficult to understand and apply, (d) can experiment with CEs on a limite d basis, and (e) can obser ve positive results of others who have entered into a CE agreement. Relative advantage and compatibility relate to ones attitude and deeper values, which was meas ured in this study via at titude and EID. Given the CE literature, it would seem that the comp lexity characteristicmeasured in this study via perceived behavioral control is likely serving as a barrie r to adoption. Trialability and 54

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observability are both low in the case of entering into a CE agreement because (a) it is not possible to experiment a CE on a limited basis as ide from entering into a 30 year agreement (an option that is not always available) and (b) there are rarely CE signs on private properties that have CEs and it is therefore difficult to observe others adopting them. Be cause trialability and observability are both low in the cas e of CEs, it would seem that ones level of trust must be high to overcome these limitations. Given the literature on perceived positive and negative characteristics of CEs, this study assessed landowners perceptions of various CE characteristics as either positive or negative influences on their decision to enter into a CE agreement. Items used in the survey instrument stemmed from both the previous ly-listed studies c oncerning landowner perceptions of CEs along with results from a set of qualitative interviews conducted by the researcher with Florida ranchers. Individual Characteristics & Fa ctors Associated with Cons ervation Practice Adoption In the related literature con cerning general conservation beha vior, five major types of individuals have emerged: (1) those who have a deep love of the land, rural values, rural community sustainability, and wish to curb urba n sprawl; (2) those who follow norms; (3) those seeking financial gain; (4) those who are member s of environmental organizations or who have attended a CE workshop; and (5) those with a certain set of demogra phic characteristics. Concerning love of the land, evidence from pr evious studies suggests that some ranchers are willing to forego the full development valu e of their land in exchange for partial compensation and the opportunity to preserve their way of life (Huntsinger & Hopkinson, 1996). In an earlier study, Smith and Martin (1972) found that Arizona ranchers resisted selling their ranches at high market prices for reasons including love of the la nd and love of rural values. In El Dorado County, California, ranchers continued to run their operations due to their love of 55

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tradition and desire to preserve their way of life for their chil dren, despite evidence of an economic downturn and heightened development pr essures (Hargrave, 1 993). Similarly, in an Australian study, Cary and Wilkinson (1997) repo rted that both envir onmental attitudes and economic profitability were positively correlated with the adoption of conservation practices on a sample of Australian farms. This relates to diffusion of innovations (R ogers, 2003) where farmer adoption of conservation pract ices and programs would depend on existing values, past experiences, and needs. Therefore, farmers w ho value, have practiced, and see a need in conservation practices and program s are theoretically more likely to engage in a CE. Concerning urban sprawl, Mashour (2004) found that landowners interested in curbin g urban sprawl were more likely to be interested in a CE. The next theme that emerged from the literatu re indirectly involved the concept of norms. Using Maryland farmland data with 200 unpreserve d and 24 preserved farm parcels, Nickerson and Lynch (2001) found that landowners with la rge parcels of land and parcels closer to preserved parcels were significan tly more likely to enroll in preservation programs. These findings display the potential influence of neig hbors in CE adoption. In addition, Nickerson and Lynch (2001) discovered that landowners w hose land was further from Baltimore and Washington, D.C. were more likely to enroll in such programs at a 10% significance level. Another key theme that emerged was financia l gain via easement adoption. For example, Daniels (1991) stated that if farmers believe a CE will be of financial benefit to them, they will likely participate. However, Jacobson, Sieving, Jones, and Van Doorn (2003) found that each farmer has a different objective for profitability a nd different attitudes towa rd profit, risk, and the environment. 56

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Some studies have also found that membership with environmental organizations or attendance at a CE workshop influenced cons ervation behavior. In a phenomenological study with 30 noted environmentalists in Kentucky and 26 in Norway, Chawla (1999) discovered that experiences in natural areas, family influe nces, environmental organization membership, negative experiences with development, and ed ucation were mentioned most frequently as sources of environmental commitment. Involveme nt in environmental organizations included participation in childhood outdoor groups such as scouts, teen/university environmental groups, adult environmental organizations, or neighbor hood associations. Negative experiences with development identified by Chawla (1999) included, for example, commercial development of a valued natural area. Conversely, Mashour (2004) found that adults who had previously attended a voluntary Florida Forestry Associ ation CE workshop were the least likely to enter into a CE agreement, warranting further research. The last major theme that emerged from re lated studies in the literature concerned participant demographics. As mentioned prev iously in Nickerson and Lynchs (2001) study, proximity to an urban center had an influence on the percentage of farm parcels that had enrolled in a preservation program. Furt hermore, in a descriptive su rvey with Florida landowners, Mashour (2004) found that older adu lts were significantly less inte rested in entering into a CE agreement while other variables such as education, gender (female s), income, and acreage were all positively associated with intere st in entering into an agreement. In a national study with farmers concerning a wide array of conservation programs and practices, several variables were identified as influential on conser vation behaviors. First of all, small farms and operators not primarily focu sed on farming were less likely to adopt conservation-compatible farming practices that we re management-intensive and to participate in 57

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working-land conservation programs than large farms whose operators primary occupation was farming (Lambert et al., 2006). Similarly, farm size was positively related with the likelihood of participating in a working land conservation progra m. Off-farm income as a proportion of total farm income was negatively associated with likelihood of participa tion in a working land program. However, farms operated by females tended to enroll a larger proportion of land into a land retirement program. Farm proximity to a water body and location on environmentally sensitive land were positively co rrelated with the number of c onservation activities practiced by a farm as well. Lambert et al. (2006) reported that larger farm households and operators who were raised on a farm tended to practice a wider array of co nservation practices. Ownership type has also been indicated as an influence on use of conser vation practices. For example, Soule, Tegene, and Wiebe (2000) discovered that land tenure is an important factor in farmers decisions to adopt conservation practices (p. 1003). In addition, these authors illust rated that the odds of using conservation practices multiplied by 0.581 for every 1-unit increase in the amount of Extension consulting advice that farm received (Lambert et al., 2006). This il lustrates a potential relationship between Extension c onsulting and engaging in a CE agreement. Lastly, in a study concerning farmer attitudes and be havioral intent to adopt bird conservation practices, Jacobson et al (2003) reported that soci odemographic background, farm char acteristics, participation in social organizations, communication and information networks, and real and perceived barriers and incentives all correlated with volunt ary adoption of conservation strategies. From Behavioral Intention to Actual Behavioral Engagement Within the theory of planned behavior, behavi oral intent is the immediate determinant of performing a specific behavior (Ajzen, 1991). The st rength of intention is measured by placing an individual along a subjective-pr obability scale involving a rela tion between the individual and 58

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some action (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). According to Fishbein and Ajzen (1975), three major factors can be identified that influence the magnitude of the relationshi p between intention and behavior: (1) the degree to which intention and be havior correspond in their levels of specificity; (2) the stability of the intention; and (3) the degree to which carrying out the intention is completely under the pers ons volitional control. Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) suggest that the relationship between beha vioral intention and the actual performance of that behavior should be high. They stated that if one wants to know whether or not an individual will perform a given behavior, the simp lest and probably most efficient thing that one can do is to ask that individual whethe r he intends to perform that behavior (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975, p. 369). The size of the relationship between a behavioral intention and an actual behavior generally depends on the specificity of the behavioral intention being considered (Fishbein, 1967; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). The Theory of Planned Behavior versus Valu e Belief Norm and Diffusion of Innovations Although the theory of planned behavior has co nsistently explained approximately 40% of the variance in behavioral inte nt in social psychology studies (Armitage & Conner, 2001), it is necessary to justify the theorys use in the context of CE adop tion. A popular theory in the area of conservation research is the value-belief-no rm (VBN) model. In fa ct, the VBN model has been claimed as the best explanatory model concerning acts of everyday environmentalism (Stern, Dietz, Abel, Guagnano, & Kalof, 1999) The VBN model hypothesizes that moral and other altruistic considerations are the key to understanding conser vation behavior (Kaiser et al., 2005). In the model, a persons environmental va lues and ecological worldview, assessed using the new environmental paradigm, are linked with the norm-activation theory (Stern et al., 1999). Using VBN, ones sense of obligation is believed to be the ulti mate predictor of conservation 59

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behavior (Kaiser et al., 2005). This model draws on the social psychological theory of altruism and social movement work, and appears as follows in Figure 2-2. Biospheric Values Altruistic Values Egoistic Values Ecological Worldview (NEP) Adverse Consequences for Valued Ob j ects Perceived Ability to Reduce Threat Sense of Obligation to take Proenvironmental Actions Environmental Activism Environmental Citizenship Policy Support Private-Sphere Behaviors Figure 2-2. The value-beliefnorm theory (Stern, 2000). A recent study by De Groot and Steg (2007) anal yzed the role of environmental concerns stemming from VBN with the theory of planned behavior. The dependent variable in this study involved behavioral intention to use a pa rk-and-ride facility in Groningen, Holland. Environmental concerns included three component s: egoistic values, al truistic values, and biospheric values. Schultz, Gouveia, Camer on, Tankha, Schmuck, & Franek (2005) found that these concerns influence behavior-specific attitude s in that (1) people with high egoistic concerns will have an environmentally friendly inten tion when perceived personal benefits of environmental behavior exceed the perceived costs; (2) people with high altruistic concerns will behave proenvironmentally if the perceived benef its outweigh the costs for other people, such as family, their community, or society as a whole; and (3) people with high biospheric concerns will engage in proenvironmental behaviors if th e perceived benefits outweigh the costs for the ecosystem and biosphere. De Groot and Steg (20 07) discovered that while all three of these 60

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environmental concerns were strongly correlate d with attitudes, they were not significantly related to intention. Relating to De Groot and Stegs (2007) study, the theory of planned behavior was recently contrasted with the VBN model in its ability to explain conservation be havior (Kaiser et al, 2005). In this study, 468 German university stud ents conservation behaviors were assessed using the theory of planned beha vior and the VBN model. The au thors found that the theory of planned behaviors intention accounted for 95% of conservation behavior, whereas the VBN model accounted for 64% (Kaiser et al., 2005). Over all, the theory of planned behavior was found to cover its concepts more fully in terms of proportions of explained variance than the VBN model (Kaiser et al., 2005). Another popular model in the area of conser vation research is diffusion of innovations (Rogers, 2003). According to Jac obson et al. (2003), research on the adoption of conservation strategies in conventional agriculture is ge nerally based on the a doption and diffusion of innovation models (p. 600). In diffusion of innovations, diffusion is defined as the process in which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system (Rogers, 2003, p. 5). Diffusion, however, is conceived as communication messages about a new idea. Because an idea is new, there is an associated degree of uncertainty (including a lack of predictabili ty, structure, and information) involved in its diffusion (Rogers, 2003). In addition, Rogers (2003) views diffusion as a form of social change, in which the structure and function of a social system is altered. In concentrating on an idea, pr actice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual, Rogers (2003) does not re strict the concept of newness to knowledge alone, but also to ones lack of development of a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward a new concept, or to whether one 61

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62 has accepted or rejected the concept. This concept of newness in the diffusion of innovations model may not fit the context of CE adoption, as Mashour (2 004) has displayed that many landowners already had strongly he ld attitudes and opinions toward CEs. Thus, the theory of planned behavior was deemed as the most a ppropriate framework to use in this study. Summary This chapter described the theory of planned behavior, related it to the context of entering into a conservation easement agreement, and compared it to other popu lar behavior change theories used in explaining conservation behavior. The key variab les in the theory of planned behavior were discussed in depth, including attitudes, subjecti ve norms, perceived behavioral control, and behavioral intent. Environmental identity, trust, pa st behavior, and perceptions of conservation easement characteristics were exam ined as additional variables of potential explanatory power in addition to those comprisi ng the theory of pla nned behavior. Lastly, individual characteristics and factors associated with conser vation practice adoption, based on other studies, were introduced as potential utilit y within the research framework for this study. The key variables discussed in this chapter were then combined into a conceptual model, which is displayed in Figure 2-3.

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Conceptual Model External Variables Behavioral Beliefs Outcome Evaluations Normative Beliefs Motivation to Comply Control Beliefs Perceived power/influence of control beliefs Attitudes Subjective Norms Perceived Behavioral Control Behavioral Intent Past Behavior Perceptions of CE Characteristics Environmental Identity Trus t Demographics Extension consulting Cattlemens involvement Conservation group membership Number of children Years of family ownership Future of ranch Ownership type Ranch size Age Sex Education Land conservation value Proximity to preserved parcel Proximity to urban development Familiarity with CEs Behavior Figure 2-3. Conceptual model: Adapted from the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1985; 1991). 63

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CHAPTER 3 METHODS Introduction Chapters 1 and 2 highlighted the major rese arch gaps concerning conservation easement (CE) adoption and introduced the applicability of the theory of planned behavior, environmental identity, trust, past behavior, and perceptions of specific CE characteristics in explaining and predicting behavioral intent to engage in a CE agreement. The previous chapters also demonstrated the need for rigorous, objective, targeted, and predictiv e research concerning influences on landowner decisions to enter into a CE agreement. Given this need, from a methodological standpoint, one of the goals of this study was to provide rigorous measurement of a specific target audiences decision to adopt a CE. This measurement included an emphasis on the practical significance of research result s (through reporting variance of the dependent variable) to help ensure that the findings of this study would be usable to key stakeholders, including conservation organizations, government agencies, and the Cooperative Extension Service (CES). In this chapte r, the research design, populatio n of interest, sampling regime, measurement (validity, reliability, and sensitivity) data collection, and data analysis methods are discussed. Research Design This study followed a nonexperimental descri ptive survey research design which used multiple linear regression and structural equation modeling to predict behavioral intent to engage in a CE agreement. The survey instrument was developed following a set of qualitative interviews with Florida cattle ranchers and wa s mailed to participants via Dillmans (2007) recommendations for mail-out questionnaires. 64

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Population of Interest Florida cattle ranchers were c hosen as the study population give n that their ranches consist of over half of the total farmland (approximate ly 5,738,598 acres) in the st ate (Veneman et al., 2004). In addition, these ranchers are among the t op target audience for CE programs delivered by conservation organizations and ag encies in Florida (B. Shires, Conservation Trust for Florida, personal communication, February 23, 2007). The researcher focused on Florida as a geographic area given that (1) all CE programs delivered in the state are currently perpetual, (2) the percentage of landowners adopting CEs in Florid a falls well below the national average of 3.5% (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2006), and (3) Florida is frequen tly listed as one of the fastest growing states in the U.S. (Main et al., 2003; U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). The studys population frame consisted of 2,700 cattle ranchers who ar e members of Florida Farm Bureau (FFB). Florida Farm Bureaus mailing list was chosen give n that (1) cattle ranchers could be separated from the broader category of livestock, (2) it was completely updated at the beginning of 2008, (3) alternate lists availa ble (i.e. from county Extension offices ) were either outdated or did not separate ranchers from general livestock producers, and (4) FFB expresse d a willingness to use their company letterhead (to add credibility), fund the printing and maili ng of the cover letters, questionnaires, postcards, business reply envelo pes and mailing envelopes, and mail all of the materials through FFB. Florida Farm Bureaus funding allowed the researcher to fully utilize Dillmans (2007) tailored design method, which is discussed in further detail below. In addition to the advantages of using FFBs updated list, this organization was chosen as a study partner given its history of involvement, and thus established credibility, with Florida agriculturists. Florida Farm Bureaus mission is to increase the net income of farmers and ranchers, and to improve the qua lity of rural life (Florida Farm Bureau, 2007). Florida Farm Bureau has served Florida agriculture for 66 years and is the states largest agricultural 65

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organization, consisting of more than 145,000 me mbers (P. Cockrell, Florida Farm Bureau Executive Director, personal communication, November 15, 2007). There are local Farm Bureaus in 64 of the 67 counties in Florida, all of which interact regula rly with Florida cattle ranchers (Florida Farm Bureau, 2007). As stated in their 2008 policies guide, FFB s upports the use of CEs as a land conservation tool providing they are volunt ary, incentive-based, and allow fo r the continued economically viable use of the property for agricultural pur poses (Florida Farm Bu reau, 2008). Conservation easements are perceived positively by FFB providing the decision to engage in a CE agreement remains completely voluntary. Rega rding the benefits of CEs, FFB believes they offer the state, the conservation community, and the landowner a win-win situation (Florida Farm Bureau, 2008, p. 43). Sampling Equal sized stratified random sampling us ing a random numbers table within each stratified grouping was applied am ong the 2,700 Florida Farm Bureau cattle ranch members for participant selection (Ary, et al., 2006). As such, all members of the population frame had an equal and independent chance of being include d in the sample. Counties were stratified according to their projected population increase between 2008 and 2012 (Florida Trend, 2008). A total of four projected growth groupings we re used: (1) Those counties with a projected growth rate of 10% or more (Charlotte, Cla y, Collier, Glades, Hernando, Martin, Okaloosa, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Santa Rosa, St. J ohns, and Walton); (2) Those with a projected growth rate between 7% and 9% (Broward, Citrus Gulf, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lee, Leon, Manatee, Monroe, Nassau, and Wakulla), (3) Those with a projected growth rate between 4% and 6% (Alachua, Baker, Bay, Brevard, De Soto, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Hardee, Hillsborough, Holmes, Lake, Levy, Marion, Miami-Dade, Okeechobee, Pasco, Polk, Sarasota, 66

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Seminole, St. Lucie, Sumter, and Volusia); and (4 ) Those with a projecte d growth rate between 0% and 3% (Bradford, Calhoun, Co lumbia, Dixie, Duval, Gadsen, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Liberty, Madison, Pinell as, Putnam, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, and Washington). The population frame was stratif ied by projected populatio n growth to better ensure equal representation across the state. Also, past re search on CEs has found that individuals who face higher development pressures ar e less likely to engage in a CE agreement, thus indicating a potential difference among the stratified groupings (N ickerson & Lynch, 2001). Since there were an estimated 2,700 individu als in the population frame for this study, Dillman (2007) recommends a sample size of 351 to achieve a +/ five percent error range. Similarly, Israel (2003) recommends a sample size of 353 for a prec ision of +/ five percent. Given that recent response rates among Florid a agriculturalists for mail-out questionnaires has been relatively low, averaging between 14.9% (Milleson, Shwiff, & Avery, 2006) and 48.8% (Vergot, Israel, & Mayo, 2005), 1,000 ranchers (250 per county grouping) were randomly selected for the sample in this study in hopes of receiving the recommended 351-353 responses. This population size was chosen not only due to past response-rate trends among research studies involving Florida agriculturalis ts, but also because this st udy occurred shor tly after the mandatory National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Census of Agriculture. This census is taken every five years and is a complete coun t of U.S. farms and ranches. The most recent version of the census was mailed to U.S. fa rm and ranch operators on December 28, 2007 (National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2008). The purpose of the Census of Agriculture was to analyze land use and ownershi p, operator characteris tics, production practices, income and expenditures as well as other areas (National Agricultural Sta tistics Service, 2008). The NASS census was hypothesized to reduce willingness to complete another survey. 67

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Regarding response rates with Florida cattle ranche rs, the survey by Milleson et al. (2006) that received a 14.9% ( n = 448) response rate concerned vulture-cattle interactions and consisted of N = 3,000 members of Florida Farm Bureau with general livestock hold ings. In their study, no reminder notices were sent to nonresponde nts and no follow-up was conducted with nonrespondents given cost restrict ions (Milleson et al., 2006). The second study, which received a 48.8% ( n = 411) response rate, consisted of N = 842 beef cattle producers in northwest Florida that were identified through the Cooperative Extension Service (V ergot et al., 2005). Vergot et al. (2005) used the complete tailored de sign method recommended by Dillman (2007). Survey Development Interviews Prior to designing the survey instrument, si x qualitative inte rviews were conducted: two with cattle ranchers who had entered into a CE agreement, two with ranchers who were in the process of entering into a CE agreement, and two that were not interested in entering into a CE agreement. Two of these six ranchers were situat ed in south Florida (south of Orlando) and the remaining four were located in north Florida (north of Orlando). These interviews provided information about the variables to be used in this study, including (a) attitudes toward entering into a CE agreement, (b) beliefs regarding infl uences of important ot hers (including family, friends, fellow cattle ranchers, extension agen ts, and government) on the (hypothetical) decision to enter into a CE agreement (including who th ese important others may be), (c) perceived behavioral control in entering into a CE agreement, and (d ) antecedent variablesnamely potentially influential demographic information. According to Ajzen (1991), pretesting the inst rument via interviews and a pilot study is critical given that the target audiences salient beliefs cannot be determined by the researcher alone. As stated by Ajzen (1991), salient belief s must be elicited by respondents themselves, or in pilot work from a sample of respondents that is representative of the research population (p. 68

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192). The Institutional Review Board approval for the survey development interviews along with informed consent and interview guide can be found in appendices A, B and C, respectively. Attitude To determine salient beliefs regarding attitudes, Ajzen ( 1991) recommends asking pilot subjects to list the costs and bene fits associated with a targeted behavior. Salient beliefs for this study were identified by asking ranchers about what they perceive as advantages and disadvantages of entering into a CE agreement (see Appendix C). Probes, such as What is the key reason you decided to [or not to] enter into a CE agreement? were also used in the interviews to gain a deeper understanding of the perceived costs and benefits associated with entering into a CE agreement. Once the most frequently mentioned beliefs we re identified via interviews, these beliefs were then organized into behavioral belief statements and co rresponding outcome evaluations, which made up the attitudinal cons truct that was used in this study. As mentioned by Francis et al. (2004), there are three key step s to developing the attitudina l questions: (1) conducting pilot interviews to determine commonly held beliefs which allows for identification of behavioral beliefs shared by the target population, (2) constructing questionnaire items to assess the strength of behavioral beliefs, and (3) constructing que stionnaire items to assess outcome evaluations. This three-step procedure was followed by the researcher for each of the theory of planned behavior constructs. Subjective Norms Interviews also determined which groups, orga nizations, and/or categories of individuals (reference groups) were likely to influence ranc her decisions to enter into a CE agreement (Francis et al., 2004). As seen in the interview guide (Appendix C) ranchers were asked whether there were any individuals or groups who influe nced [their] decision wh ether or not to enter 69

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into a CE agreement. If any were mentioned, probes such as how so? were used to gain a better understanding of the importance of these gr oups/organizations/indivi duals on the ranchers decision-making process. Perceived Behavioral Control Similar to attitudes and subjective norms, the qualitative interviews identified the content of control beliefs that were shared by cattle ra nchers concerning entering into a CE agreement. Ranchers were asked whether there were any fa ctors that would make it difficult or impossible for someone to enter into a CE agreement and if so, what they would be. If any factors were mentioned, probes were used in attempt to discov er the potential strengt h of these factors in ones decision whether or not to enter into a CE agreement. Antecedent Variables In addition to the theory of planned behavior components, interviews were used to help determine the potential influence of ones (a) environmental identit y, (b) trust, (c) past behavior, (d) perception of CE characteristics as positive or negative influences, and (e) demographic characteristics. To gauge the potential influen ce of environmental identity, general questions such as What do you enjoy most about your ranch or ranching lifestyle in general? were asked. Participants whose answer s related to love of the natural environment were hypothesized to have a higher environmental identity. Participants we re also asked to provi de their thoughts about rural land development in Florida. Probes relate d to this question included Have you been faced with development pressures (i.e. approached by a land developer)? and Do you feel that your land and your lifestyle are bei ng threatened by development? If a concern about the loss of natural habitat and/or other related environmenta l issues was emphasized by a participant, the researcher compared this to whet her or not that participant had en tered into a CE agreement. If a 70

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relationship existed, then it was hypo thesized that ones environmental identity might play a role in their decision of whether or not to enter into a CE agreement. Since land conservation literature has indicated that trust, past behavior, and perceptions of specific CE characteristics might play a role in ones CE adoption decision, these variables were indirectly assessed via the interviews. The poten tial influence of trust was gauged, for example, by asking participants who were not interested in entering into a CE agreement to discuss the main reason they decided not to do so. If themes related to mistrust emerged in their answers, then this added support to previous literature indicating distrust as a major barrier in ones CE adoption decision. Past behavior was also indirectly assesse d within the interview guide questions. For example, in asking participants who had entered in to a CE agreement or who were in the process of doing so to indicate what made them consider entering into a CE agreement, the researcher was able to measure whether re lated past behaviors (such as having attended a CE workshop) might have influenced their CE adoption deci sion. Lastly, percepti ons of specific CE characteristics were measured by separating th e perceived advantages and disadvantages of entering into a CE agreement into two main categories: Beliefs regarding the mentioned outcomes of entering into a CE agreement and perceptions of CE characteristics as positive or negative influences on ones beha vioral intent. This is explained in further detail in the instrument components section of this chapter. The interviews were also used to provide in sight as to which demographic characteristics might play a role in ones decision to enter into a CE agreement. This included a discussion of participants children, heirs, ranch size, age, pr oximity to urban development, proximity to a preserved parcel of land, participation in Exte nsion programs, and family history on the ranch. 71

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Interview Methods and Coding The interview guide for this study followed a co nstructivist theoretica l perspective with a semi-structured interview approach. Constructivi sm was chosen as (1) the interview purpose was to gauge how participants perc eive CEs and make meaning of the CE process, (2) criterion sampling was used to select participants, (3) a udio-recorded interviews were used for data collection, (4) inductive analysis was used to anal yze the data, and (5) the researcher acted as a facilitator in the in terviews (M. Koro-Ljungberg, pers onal communication, October 27, 2006). With semi-structured interviewing, guiding quest ions were prepared but the researcher was open to following the leads of informants a nd probing into areas that arise during interview interactions (Hatch, 2002, p. 94). During the interviews, recommendations by Hatch (2002) for conducting successful qualitative interviews were followed. This included establishing respec t, paying attention, and encouraging participants. To encourage partic ipants, the interviews began with broader questions, such as What do you enjoy most about your ranch, or ranching lifestyle in general? which eased participants into the main topic of CEs. This se t the tone for a more conversational and informal atmosphere. Each interview lasted between 30 minut es and 1.5 hours and was conducted on the participants property (either in their home or while touring their ranch in a vehicle) to help establish rapport (Cro tty, 2003). Qualitative responses to the interview questions were transcribed verbatim and themes were extracted from the data us ing inductive analysis (Coffey & Atkinson, 1996; Hatch, 2003). Inductiv e analysis involved (1) reading the data to identify broad frames of analysis, (2) creating domains based on relationships among th e data, (3)identifying salient domains, (4) refining salient domains once the data have been reread, and (5) supporting each domain with raw data (Hatch, 2003). Extract ed domains supported with raw data can be 72

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found in Appendix D. Once the key domains were ex tracted from the interv iew data, the results were peer-reviewed by eight gra duate students and facu lty in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, and the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida. The domains were then shared with respondents to ensure credibility and confirmability, thus increasing trustworthiness of the data (Ely, Anzul, Frie dman, Garner, & Steinmetz, 1991; Hatch, 2002). No changes were recommended by respondents followi ng review of the interview findings. Once the qualitative component of this research was co mpleted, the six intervie w participants were removed from the Florida Farm Bureau membersh ip sampling list to eliminate the chance they would later be reselected to answer the quantitative survey instrument. Interview Findings As previously mentioned, the six participants that were interviewed in this study had either already entered into a CE agreement ( n = 2), were in the process of doing so (n = 2), or were not interested in doing so ( n =2). The two ranchers that were no t interested in entering into a CE agreement had different reasons for their lack of interest. One of them was not interested in CEs as he had entered his ranch into a corporati on over 25 years ago which allowed him to provide his children and grandchildren stock in the ranc h each year. He described this process as saving his children and grandchildren from the large inheritance tax and also allowing the ranch to remain as it is, within in the family. The s econd rancher had inquired about putting a CE on his property and began the negotiation process. Howeve r, this rancher then backed out as he felt there was too much red tap e involved and was worried abou t giving up any of his property rights. Using inductive data analysis, the domains that emerged from the data were grouped in the following categories: (1) general attitudes, (2) attitudes about CEs, (3) subjective norms and 73

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memberships, (4) perceived behavioral control, and (5) demographics (see Appendix D for the interview domains and supporting data). This section will discuss the domains within each category, which led to the development of the quantitative survey instrument. General Attitudes The first category of general attitudes contai ned four domains: (1) land development, (2) development pressure, (3) connectedness to natu re, and (4) connectedness to the ranch. Although five of the six participants had mentioned a conc ern for land development in Florida, especially unplanned development, this concern was emphasized more frequently by the four ranchers who had either already entered into an easement or were in the process of doi ng so. One rancher said You just dont want to see it all taken away while another mentioned I think enough of rural land has been ruined already. I wish a lot of it would be savedwhats left of ittheres very little farms left. One of the ranchers who was not interested in entering into a CE had a different view of development. He said that rural land development is good for people that have invested in agricultural land through the years because it always creates a value thats above the agricultural value of the land. This rancher viewed rural land as his bank, which was used for financial stability. All six ranchers admitted to having been faced with development pressures in the past and described frequent occasions in which developers tried to buy their la nd. One couple mentioned that development pressures were one of the reasons they entered into the easement. They described their situation as follows: Thats one of the reasons why we t ook the easement was because we were approached by people that wanted to de velop the land. And we struggled with that. We could have probably doubled or tripled what we had in selling the easementespecially in that timeframe from 2003-2006 when th e price of land was very highyou are approached by peopl e that would want to purchase the entire property for a huge amount of money, huge and then it would be gone forever. And thats not just some thing that we were willing to do. 74

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The following is a similar description by anothe r rancher who faced development pressures on his property: Well be working on a fence up there on the side of the roadand this Cadillac or Lincoln will pull up and this character will jump out in a suit who smells like he just got out of the shower and were di rty. And he says do you own this land? Yes sir. He knows I own it because he s checked up on me. But he finds out who I am and he says well, would you se ll it? And I said No, we dont want to sell it. Well do you know what its worth? Yeah, I know what its worth. Well why wouldnt you sell it? We ll I dont want to sell it. But di d you know that if you sell it you could have this kind of car, you could have a condo, or you could go to Europe, or you could do this or th at or whatever? And I said No, Im happy doing just what Im doing. And hell look at me like Im the craziest person he ever saw and get back in hi s car and take off. But that happens frequently In addition to development pressure, four ranchers mentioned items related to a connectedness to nature. This incl uded a love of the outdoors, love of being outside, being raised in the woods, a love of birds, and a love of trees. Ranchers w ho had entered into an easement emphasized a love of the outdoors in general or a l ove of wildlifeeither of birds or hunting. For the two that were not interested in entering into an easement, t opics related to connectedness to nature were not mentioned by one, but the othe r mentioned being born and raised under oak trees and taking care of th e trees on his property. Lastly, although all ranchers were proud of their accomplishments with buying or inheriting their property and ranching over the years, one of them made no mention of wanting to see their ranch remain as it is well into the futu re. For the five ranchers who mentioned a desire for their ranch to remain as it is into the future, one said Its been a part of my life all my life and I want it to be there as l ong as I live. The rancher who was worried about property rights and backed out of the CE process did not mention any topics relating to a connectedness to his ranch. 75

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Attitudes about Conservation Easements The second category, attitudes a bout CEs, contained nine dom ains: (1) perpetual nature, (2) payment, (3) tax benefits, (4) property value, (5) protecting wildlife, (6) customized nature of CEs/few restrictions, (7) the land remaining as is (8) property rights/los s of control, and (9) government attitude/mistrust. When asked about the advantages of CEs, th e four ranchers that had entered into an easement or were doing so mentioned the perpetua l nature of easements as a positive aspect. These ranchers viewed perpetuity as one of the main reasons they entere d or were entering into the CE. Permanent preservation was not mentioned by the two ranchers who were not interested in entering into a CE agreement. All three gr oups of ranchers, however, listed receiving a payment and tax benefits as positive incentives associated with entering into a CE agreement. The fourth domain, property value, was perc eived differently by the participants. The two ranchers in south Florida (one had entered into a CE and one was in the process of doing so) felt that their property would be wort h about half of what it would be without the easement. This view was supported by a rancher in north Florida who was not interested in entering into a CE agreement. However, one rancher in north Florid a who had entered into a CE agreement felt that his property value would remain about the same. He mentioned that there were very few large sections of land left and theres so many ri ch doctors and lawyers and John Travoltas and theyd pay as much as a developer for a good sized tract of land to get some solitude and get away from the world on. The fifth domain of protecting wildlife was mentioned by only one landowner, but he viewed this as a key factor in his decision to en ter into a CE agreement. This rancher mentioned that I just think that the birds ought to have a sanctuary somewhere. There ought to be someplace they can go. 76

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Next, both ranchers in south Fl orida mentioned the customized nature of CEs and the few restrictions as advantages. As mentioned by one rancher, you can insert the terms that you want and they are very flexible. Another said you are sure allowed to do everything that you have been doing in the past. All ranchers who had either already entered in to a CE agreement or were doing so stated that a key reason they were interested in CEs was because their land would remain as it is, well into the future. For example, one rancher who had entered into a CE agreement stated you would be able to ride out here and look across this prairie an d it looks just like it does now. Another mentioned its really the preservation of a lifestyleconservation easements absolutely preserve a lifestyle. For those that had already entered into a CE agreement or who were going through the process, the last two domains of property ri ghts and government mistrust were mentioned as perceived barriers that other ranche rs may have. For the two ranchers that were not interested in entering into a CE agreement, both of these issu es were mentioned as personal misgivings. For example, one of the ranchers who had entered hi s ranch into a corpora tion stated that a key reason he would not enter into a CE agreement was that the government would take away some of his property rights. The othe r rancher who backed out of th e CE process harbored similar views, indicating that there was too much red tape involved with the process. With government mistrust, the first rancher said I wouldnt ever want it to in any way be put under government control where they would have the right to tell you what you could do for conservation and what you couldnt do. I dont think thats the way to go. This rancher also mentioned that the government works hard and tries hard but most of the time it seems like government programs 77

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have loop-holes in them The other rancher who was not interested in entering into a CE felt that agriculture is not respected by the government. Subjective Norms and Memberships Within subjective norms and memberships, eight different domains emerged: (1) involvement in or membership with local/state/national environmental gro ups or land trusts, (2) neighbors, (3) close friends and other cattle ranchers, (4) parent s/family, (5) Florida/National Cattlemens Association, (6) Farm Bureau, (7) Extension, and (8) Florida International AgriBusiness Trade Council. Three of the four ranchers who were either going into or were already in a CE agreement mentioned being members of some type of e nvironmental organization. This included local environmental groups such as Defenders of Crooked Lake which aims to curb development, being president of a local la nd conservancy, and serving on advisory boards with county conservation trusts. The second domain, neighbors, was mentioned by ranchers who were interested in CEs and those who were not, albeit in different contexts. One rancher who was entering into a CE agreement mentioned knowing more than one nei ghbor who was interested in CEs or who had already entered into a CE agreement. For the ra ncher who backed out of the CE process, his neighbor had apparently sold hi s 566 acres and received a tremendous sum of money for it. Similar to neighbors, ranchers who had ente red into a CE agreement or were doing so mentioned having close friends or knowing other cattle ranchers who already had a CE on their ranch. For example, one of the ranchers me ntioned knowing several individuals who were interested in or had already gone through the easement process. One of the families he had mentioned had been friends with his family for three generations. He stat ed that some longtime ranching families that we respect very muchtheir interest and participation helped to stimulate 78

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ours as well. It made us feel a little better that we were doing the right thing. However, one of the ranchers who was not interested in CEs felt that his other cattle ranc hing friends would also have high levels of mistrust in the government and a lack of interest in CEs. There was no mention by either rancher who was not interested in easements of knowing any friends or fellow ranchers who were interested in CEs or w ho already had an easement on their property. Although the Florida and the National Catt lemens Association, Farm Bureau, and Extension were all mentioned, these three organi zations were listed primarily by one rancher. This rancher, who was in the process of ente ring into a CE agreement, felt that while the Cattlemens Association used to oppose CEs, w e [Florida Cattlemens Association] see the conservation easement process as about the best way to preserve land now to be honest with you. The Cattlemens Association was also men tioned by a rancher who was not interested in CEs, but this rancher described it as working with government to try and prevent harmful programs from being passed. Regarding Farm Burea u, one rancher mentioned that I have been a part of and have been to more than half a dozen meetings, informational meetings, seminars that were a partnership of a Cattlemens or Farm Bureau-type organization and trust organizations working together. Lastly, this sa me rancher mentioned th at he had installed a solar-powered well system via a SHARE program with CES, indicating his involvement with Florida Extension. The Florida International Agri-Business Tr ade Council was only mentioned once by one rancher (who was not interested in CEs). He stated that he had been president of this council for over 20 years. Perceived Behavioral Control From the interviews, two domains emerged c oncerning perceived behavioral control: (1) the length of time and complexities involved and (2) the risk involved with entering into a CE agreement. Five of the six ranchers mentione d that the long process of entering into a CE 79

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agreement was a major barrier. For example, one ra ncher stated that he postponed entering into a CE agreement because he was physically and ment ally worn out by the process. Another rancher discussed how the process was too complicated a nd how it took three years for him to enter into a CE agreement. This rancher strongly felt that the entire process could be simplified, mentioning, for example, the lack of necessity to sign 16 times on a contract as well as having to get a lawyer each time the conservation organiza tion made a minor change to the contract. One of the ranchers that backed out of the CE pro cess and lost interest in CEs stated, each time I looked in my mailbox I had another letter and another paper to sign and another change. It wasnt carried out in an orderly fashiont oo much correspondence. I was about spending fulltime trying to give my land away! The second domain, risk, was only mentioned by the ranchers in south Florida. These ranchers described how when entering into a CE agreement, the contract is not bilateral. One of the ranchers expressed his experience as follows: I mean those deals can go to hell in a hand basket. They could lose their funds. They have X amount of money: A person puts up 2-3 million dollars and they say alright well well get our conservancy to throw in this and well get the federal government to throw in this and then when it comes time, alr ight I think weve got a deal and they dont want to do it, the moneys gone, and times going onIts stressful as hell. This rancher emphasized how the conservation or ganization could back out at any point while the easement is going through but the rancher could not. Both ranchers in south Florida worried that for small ranches, it might be too risky to invest money for legal fees and other expenses with the hope that the conservation organizati on would not decide to withdraw. One rancher summarized this concern with his question of, w hat if you go 17 months and the deal falls apart and your bills are just piling up? This concept of risk was lacking in th e literature and was not previously considered by the researcher. 80

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Demographics From the interviews, six domains emerged unde r demographics: (1) ch ildren/heirs, (2) land size, (3) next to preserved parcel of land, (4) in a wildlife corridor, (5 ) presence of endangered species, and (6) generations owning the ranch. The role of children or heirs in the decision to enter into a CE process was complex. One rancher in south Florida had no ch ildren but felt that if he had a big family, they would ha ve probably sold the ranch to provide financial return for their children. However, his wife believed that if we had a child we would have probably done the same thing [entered into a CE agreement] especi ally if that child would have wanted tocarry on the tradition. The other rancher who had entere d into a CE agreement did so to protect his land from development and felt that his two sons harbor these same views. One of the ranchers who was entering into a CE agreement had a single son who wanted to take over the ranch as the seventh generation direct descendent on the prop erty. The other rancher who was entering into a CE agreement did not have any children. For the two that were not interested in CEs, one of them had children and grandchildren that were interested in ranching and taking over the property, while the other had child ren and grandchildren that were not interested in ranching. With the second domain of land size, one of the ranchers who was interviewed mentioned that larger ranchers were probabl y more likely to enter into a CE agreement as less risk would be involved. Next, one rancher stated that the Nature Conservancy had contacted him with an offer to buy his development rights as he was located next to a preserved parcel of land. Three ranchers were contacted because they were in a wildlife corridor and because they had endangered species sightings in cluding the Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Florida black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus) and Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) on their properties. 81

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Finally, the four ranchers who had either entered into a CE agreement or were going to do so were at least second-generation ranchers on their property. Two of these ranchers families had lived on the same ranch for over 130 years. The two that were not interested in CEs had bought the property themselves between 30 and 55 years ago. Instrumentation and Measurement Following analysis of the interview data, the quantitative survey instrument was developed based on the domains which emerged, the theory of planned behavior, an d literature concerning conservation behavior. Ajzens ( 2006b) recommendations for cons tructing a theory of planned behavior questionnaire were followed during the instrumenta tion development phase. This included the use of semantic differential scaling throughout most of the questionnaire to locate participants on a bipolar affective/evaluative sc ale as opposed to Likert-type scales within each construct (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). The survey instrument was printed on two 11x14-inch sheets of paper, which was folded into a eight-page 8.5x11-inch booklet. The booklet c onsisted of a cover pa ge, eight sections, a comments page, and a closing page (Appendi x J). Dillman (2007) and Israels (2005) recommendations for face validity were utilized for the cover page, which included a clear title, a graphic representing the questionnai re topic, and logos from the study sponsors. The title of the cover page stated Florida Ranc hers & Conservation Easements. Below this title was a picture of a Florida cattle rancher on horseback moving ca ttle. This photo was chosen so that Florida ranchers could identify with the instrument from the onset. The Un iversity of Florida and Florida Farm Bureaus logos were located in the bottom right-hand corner of the instrument to help increase face validity. Above these logos was a request to have the que stionnaire returned by a specified date (August 11, 2008). 82

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A panel of 12 experts consisti ng of university faculty, gradua te students and staff in the Department of Agricultural Education and Co mmunication, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, School of Forest Resources a nd Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, The Conservation Trust for Florida, and Florida Farm Bureau evaluated the instrument for both face and content validity. Constr uct validity and internal consiste ncy were measured using principal components factor analysis (Crocker & Algina, 1986). Promax oblique rotation was used to aid in interpretation of the data when needed. Factor scores were used in multiple linear regression and structural equation modeling in order to meet the third objective of the study. For each variable within the theory of planned behavior internal consistency (reliability) was checked using Cronbachs alpha and factor analysis was used to check for unidimensionality. However, Ajzens (1991) recommendations were then foll owed for constructing the theory of planned behavior variables as opposed to the use of factor scores. For example, following analysis of reliability and validity, to determine participant at titude each behavioral belief was multiplied by its corresponding outcome evaluation and the produc ts were summed together across the four behavioral beliefs. Instrument components Section I of the instrument assessed (a) familiarity with the term conservation easement, (b) participants past behavior, and (c) whethe r participants had alre ady entered into a CE agreement or were in the process of doing so. Response options for participant familiarity with CEs included not at all familiar (coded as 1) slightly familiar (coded as 2), somewhat familiar (coded as 3), fairly familiar (coded as 4), and very familiar (coded as 5). Past behavior was assessed by asking (1) whether participants had prev iously attended a CE workshop or seminar, and (2) whether they had ever approached or been approached by an agency/organization about entering into a CE agr eement. Lastly, participants were asked whether 83

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they were currently in the proce ss of entering into a CE agreemen t, and whether they already had a CE on a portion of their ranch. Response items for each of these questions included yes (coded as 1) and no (coded as 0). Section II consisted of three parts: (1) a descriptive para graph about CEs, (2) behavioral beliefs, and (3) outcome evaluations. The descri ptive paragraph was in cluded as previous research has found that among Florida farmers, conservation options are not widely known nor considered as an alternative to selling agricu ltural lands (Conservation Trust for Florida, 2004, p. 7). Thus, the goal of the paragraph was to assist those participants with a limited or incorrect knowledge of what CEs entail. The paragraph clar ified that CEs: (a) ar e voluntary yet legally binding, (b) are designed to keep land in either na tural habitat, agriculture, or open space uses, (c) involve the sale or donation of development rights, (d) are cu stomized for the landowner and conservation entity, and (e) are typically permanent. This para graph was peer reviewed by 12 faculty, graduate students and staff in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, Department of W ildlife Ecology and Conservation, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, The C onservation Trust for Florida, and Florida Farm Bureau to ensure a concise yet compre hensive and objective preview describing a CE. Parts two and three of section II indirectly m easured participants attitude toward entering into a CE agreement. To measure attitude, Ajzen (2006b) recommends using an index of behavioral beliefs via behavior al belief strengths a nd outcome evaluations. Therefore, this section consisted of four items measuring be havioral beliefs and a nother four measuring associated outcome evaluations. As an example, one of the behavioral belief items stated A conservation easement is a good way to help preser ve the Florida ranching lifestyle. For this item, participants selected from a five-point semantic differential scale ranging from extremely 84

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unlikely (coded as 1) to extremely likely (c oded as 5). The corresponding outcome evaluation for that behavioral belief item stated Using conservation easements to preserve the Florida ranching lifestyle is From this statement, respondents again selected from a semantic differential scale, this time ranging from extremely bad (cod ed as 1) to extremely good (coded as 5). Response items were chosen following Ajzens (1991) recommendations. Section III measured subjective norms and c onsisted of three items assessing normative beliefs and three corresponding it ems for motivation to comply. As an example, one of the normative belief items stated My neighbors would pr obably be interested in entering into a CE agreement. Semantic differential scaling was also used for response items in this statement. The response items ranged from strongly disagree (c oded as 1) to strongly agree (coded as 5). Each normative belief statement was followed by a motivation to comply item (Ajzen, 2006b). The motivation to comply item for the normative belief statement about neighbors was Generally speaking, how much do your neighbors opinions infl uence your decisions? With each motivation to comply item, re spondents selected between not at all (coded as 1) and very much (coded as 5). Subjective normative strength was then measured via the sum of normative belief strengths by the motivation to comply indices. The next section consisted of two parts: (1) perceived behavi oral control, and (2) trust. Perceived behavioral control cons isted of items assessing whethe r entering into a CE agreement would (1) be mostly up to the re spondent, (2) involve little risk on the respondents behalf, and (3) be in the respondents contro l. The second portion of perceived behavioral control measured whether respondents agreed that entering into a CE would not (1 ) require more time and energy than they had, (2) be too complicated of a proc ess, and (3) involve t oo many restrictions and requirements. Response options for perceive d behavioral control ranged from strongly 85

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disagree (coded as 1) to strong ly agree (coded as 5), using se mantic differential scaling. As previously mentioned, Ajzens (1991) recomme ndations for calculating attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control were followed. The second part of section IV assessed participant trust. Th e trust scale was developed by the researcher and stemmed from previous lite rature and the qualitati ve interviewswhere individuals who were not interested in a CE re ported a high level of di strust in governmental agencies and other organizations. Three items were used to assess participan t trust, including: (1) I would trust an organizations or agencys ability to preserve my land permanently, (2) Generally speaking, I have a lo t of faith in programs like CEs, and (3) I would trust an organization/agency to fairly negotiate the term s in a CE agreement. Response options for these statements matched those of perceived behavior al control. Following factor analysis, factor scores for participant trust were used as a variable in the regression model. Section V consisted of various CE characteristics and measured whether those characteristics were either positive or negative influences on ones decision to enter into a CE agreement. Items within this section include d, for example, receiving a payment for the CE and estate tax deductions. Participants chose from a 5-point Likert-type scale with response options including strong negative influence (coded as 1), negative influence (coded as 2), no influence (coded as 3), positive influen ce (coded as 4), and strong positive influence (coded as 5). This section consisted of 10 items that were analyzed individually. Behavioral intent to enter into a CE agreem ent (the dependent variable) was measured via six items in section VI. Response options for e ach item were placed on a semantic differential scale ranging from extremely unlikely (coded as 1) to extremely likely (coded as 5) The six items consisting of the dependent variable as sessed how likely respondents would be to (1) 86

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Discuss with a family member the possibility of entering into a CE agreement; (2) Attend a workshop about CEs in the future; (3) Consult w ith a conservation organization or agency about the CE process; (4) Enter into a 30-year CE agreement; (5) Enter into a permanent CE agreement by selling (receiving a payment) their developmen t rights; and (6) Enter into a permanent CE agreement by donating (not receiving a payment) th eir development rights. Factor analysis was used to determine the unidimensionality of the items within the dependent variable and factor scores were used as the depe ndent variable in the regression model. Participants who had indicated at the beginning of the questionnaire that th ey were in the process of entering into a CE agreement or already had a CE on their ranch were asked to skip this section and were analyzed separately. Section VII of the inst rument measured (1) environmental identity (adapted from Clayton & Opotow, 2003) and (2) perceive d conservation value of the la nd. Environmental identity was measured via 12 items using Likert-type s caling. Response options ranged from strongly disagree (coded as 1) to strongly agree (code d as 5). In each statement, respondents were asked to consider their view of nature and cons ervation in general. Examples of items measuring EID included If I had enough time or money, I woul d certainly devote some of it to working for conservation-based causes and I think of myself as part of nature, not separate from it. Factor scores were created from this scale and were used in the regr ession model. Next, participants were asked how they would rate the conservatio n value of their land fo r Florida wildlife and water resources. A five-point Li kert-type scale was used for response options in this question, ranging from extremely low (coded as 1) to extremely high (coded as 5). The final section of the questionnaire c ontained 13 questions measuring participant demographics. Based on the literature and qua litative interviews c onducted in this study, 87

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individuals were asked to indica te (1) how often they sought a dvice from their local extension service, (2) whether they recently served a leadership role for their local, state, or national Cattlemens Association, (3) whether they we re a member of any conservation groups, (4) number of children, (5) the length of time their fa mily has owned the ranch, (6) what the future of the ranch will most likely entail, (7) ownership type, (8) ranch size, (9) age, (10) sex, (11) education, (12) proximity to a preserved parcel of land, and (13) proximity to a parcel of land that is being converted into urban developmen t. For each of these questions, the suggestions proposed by Dillman (2007) and Israel (2005) we re implemented, including the use of visual cues such as dotted or solid lines and open boxes for respondents to wr ite in. In asking respondents about their age, Israel (2005) suggest s that four connected, open boxes be used to reduce the likelihood of measurement error. This t echnique was applied in the survey instrument, with the first two boxes containing a one and a nine to reduce potential confusion. The final portion of the questionnaire in cluded an open-ended comment section for participants to list ad ditional thoughts about conservation easements (Appendix J). Figure 3-1 summarizes the key variables and corresponding survey instrument sections that were used in this study. Implementation of the Pilot Study Following revisions suggested by the panel of experts, the survey instrument underwent a two-phase pilot test. In phase one, three cattle ranchers in Alachua County re-analyzed the instrument for both face and content validity. These ranchers were contacted following recommendation by the Alachua County Extension Director and Livestoc k Agent (C. Sanders, personal communication, May 14, 2008). Three different types of individuals were recommended: one who (a) strongly advocated CEs, (b) was indifferent about CEs, and (c) was strongly against CEs. This way, the researcher en sured that the instrument was not analyzed by 88

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just one type of individual. Using Florida Farm Bureaus cattle ranch member list, the researcher contacted the recommended participan ts by telephone and asked whether they would be willing to complete a self-administered survey instrument. Each of the three ranchers agreed to critique the survey instrument and was then removed from the final sampling list. Following agreement to participate in the pilot study, the research er personally administered the surveys to each ranchers home. To assess face and content validity, each participant was asked to think out-loud while analyzing the surv ey. In order to ease participan ts into this process, the researcher provided an example for each partic ipant. This phase of the pilot study provided valuable feedback for revising survey questions that participants found unclear or confusing. From stage one of the pilot test minor revi sions were made to the survey instrument. In stage two of the pilot te st, a random sample of 20 cattl e ranchers in Alachua County (who were then removed from the sampling list) were contacted by telephone and asked to participate in a 15-20 minute pilot study. Seventeen of the 20 participants agreed to participate. Upon agreeing to participate in the study, a day and time was scheduled to self-administer the survey instrument. In this second stage, the resear cher asked participants to complete the survey and simply voice any concerns, questions or comm ents about the instrument if any arose. The purpose of phase two of the pilot study was to determine estimates of instrument validity, reliability, and sensitivity. The Institutional Review Board appr oval for the two-phase pilot study can be found in Appendix E. Pilot Study Results Data from phase two of the pilot study were entered into SPSS Version 16.0 for Windows. As mentioned, data were collected from 17 ranche rs in Alachua County. Internal consistency for each of the major constructs was examined using Cronbachs alpha. Item discrimination procedures (corrected item-total co rrelation) were used to measure sensitivity of the items. Items 89

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with a corrected item-total correlation of less than 0.20 were either revised or deleted depending on (a) whether Cronbachs alpha would increase wh en the item was deleted, and (b) whether the item was dependent on another within Ajzens (1991) theory of pla nned behavior (i.e. a corresponding outcome evaluation to a behavi oral belief). Thus, all adjustments to instrumentation items were made prior to the final data collection period using pilot study results. From the pilot study data, the internal cons istency for behavioral beliefs was 0.947. Item discrimination statistics showed that all four items in this section had corrected item-total correlations between 0.839 and 0.917, therefore no items were delete d. The internal consistency for the corresponding outcome evaluations was 0.688. It em discrimination statistics revealed that corrected item-total correlat ions fell between 0.352 and 0.656. As a result, no outcome evaluation items were deleted or altered. Internal consistency for the combined behavioral belief and outcome evaluation scales (w hich indirectly measured at titude) was 0.898. The eight items measuring attitude had corrected item-total correlations between 0.231 and 0.860, therefore no items were deleted or altered within the attitudi nal construct of the survey instrument following the pilot study. The internal consistency for the six normativ e beliefs and motivation to comply items was 0.625. Item discrimination statistics revealed that two items had a corrected item-total correlation falling below 0.20. These two items were motiva tion to comply with neighbors (0.157) and motivation to comply with family (0.168). Alt hough the item-total correlations for these two items fell below 0.20, the items were revised inst ead of deleted given that they were both dependent on another item (each motivation to comply corresponded with a normative belief). 90

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The internal consistency for the six items measuring perceived behavioral control was 0.724. Item discrimination statistics showed th at the six items had corrected item-total correlations between 0.204 and 0.803; therefore, no items were deleted or altered within the perceived behavioral control cons truct of the survey instrument. The internal consistency for the three items measuring participant trust was 0.743. Corrected item-total correlations for these three items were between 0.373 and 0.757; therefore no items assessing participant trus t were deleted or revised following the pilot study. For the 12 items measuring EID, the intern al consistency was 0.810. Item disc rimination statistics revealed corrected item-total correlations ranging from 0.250 to 0.758. Given that none of the 12 items fell below 0.20, this scale was not revised follo wing the pilot study. Inte rnal consistency and item discrimination were not checked for past behavior and perceptions of specific CE characteristics given that they differed in and of themselves. Therefore, each was analyzed at the individual item level. Lastly, the internal consistency for the six it ems measuring the dependent variable in this study was 0.924. Item discrimination statistics in dicated that the six items had corrected itemtotal correlations between 0.671 and 0.891; th erefore, no adjustments were made. Administration To reduce the potential for measurement error, procedures for mail questionnaires outlined by Dillman (2007) were followed. On July 8th, 2008, participants were mailed a personalized prenotice letter (Appendix F) that (a) provided information a bout the upcoming survey and the anticipated use of the su rvey results, (b) requested their volun tary participati on in the study, and (c) gave notification that an incentive would be provided with the survey instrument. The prenotice letter was administered via first class mail in a regula r business-sized envelope through Florida Farm Bureau. Following the Institutional Review Board approval for the final study 91

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(Appendix G) on July 11th, 2008, participants were sent a 9x12 envelope containing a personalized cover letter, the finalized survey instrument booklet, an incentive, and a postagepaid business reply envelope (Appendices H, I, J, K, and L, respectively). The personalized cover letter notified respondents about how (a) th ey were chosen for th e study, (b) the survey results would be used, and (c) to contact the re searcher, the researchers supervisor, or the Institutional Review Board with any questi ons. Following Dillmans (2007) recommendations, both the prenotice and cover le tters were personally addres sed, dated, printed on official letterhead, and included electr onic signatures from both the researcher and Florida Farm Bureaus Assistant to the President (Appendices F and I). Although Dillman (2007) recommends including two dollars with the questionnaire as a best practice in increasing res ponse rates, the researcher utili zed a save 10% off your entire purchase coupon from Tractor Supply Co. (Appendix K) that was designed specifically for this study. The coupon graphic consisted of beef cattle and the coupon expired on August 31st, 2008 to match the study timeline. Instead of using two dollars as a survey incentive, the researcher asked Tractor Supply Co. about their willingne ss to provide 1,000 coupons for the study given that (1) this would allow for an incentive that directly matched the target audience, (2) including two dollars within each survey would have cost $2,000, whereas th e coupons were provided free of cost, and (3) Tractor Supply Co. could also use this as an opportunity for low-cost marketing (given that postage was paid through Florida Farm Bureau). On July 18, 2008, participants were sent a 8.5x5.5-inch thank you/reminder postcard via first class mail (Appendix M). As stated by Dill man (2007), the purpose of this postcard was to jog memories and rearrange priorities (p. 179). It was delivered exactly one week following delivery of the survey instrument given that the surge of responses genera lly occurs within the 92

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first two or three days following receipt of a questionnaire (Dillman, 2007). The postcard cover graphic included two silhouettes of cattle ranchers on horseback at dawn. The reverse side consisted of (a) Florida Farm Bureaus and the Un iversity of Floridas logos, (b) a thank you to respondents who had already return ed their questionnaires and a request to those who had not to please do so as soon as possible, (c) contact information in th e case that respondents did not receive the questionnaire, and (d) signatures from both the researcher and Florida Farm Bureaus Assistant to the President. The final contact was targeted specifically to nonrespondents, ( n = 648). This contact was mailed via first class mail on August 5th, 2008, and consisted of a letter for nonrespondents (Appendix N), a replacement questionnaire, and a business reply envelope. As recommended by Dillman (2007), the letter to nonrespondents incl uded (a) a personalized heading, (b) a specific date, (c) feedback that the researcher had not yet heard from the respondent, (d) results from surveys to-date, (e) the importance of receiving th eir individual feedback, (f) clarification about their eligibility, (g) information about confidenti ality, (h) an option to return an incomplete questionnaire if they wished not to participat e, (i) the researchers and Assistant to the Presidents signature, and (j) a post script containing the researchers personal contact information. As with the prenotice and cover le tter, the letter for nonr espondents was printed on official Florida Farm Bureau letterhead (Appendix N). Following delivery of the letter to nonrespondents and corresponding replacement questionnaires on August 5th, 2008, the researcher received a 60.2% response rate with 517 usable surveys. The survey results are discussed in further detail in Chapter 4. Of the 517 usable surveys received, item nonres ponse was handled prior to data analysis using multiple imputation (Rubin, 1987; Shafte r & Graham, 2002). Recommendations by Little 93

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(1988) for imputation were followed, which included basing imputations on the predictive distribution of the missing values, given all of the observed values for a respondent. Multiple imputation replaces each missing value by a list of m > 1 simulated values, where m is the number of imputations (Shafer & Graham, 2002). L ittle (1988) described multiple imputation as a convenient method for estimating the added vari ance from estimating the missing values and yielding approximately valid inferences (p. 290). The primary variables involving missing data in this study included proximity to urban develo pment (37 cases), ranch ownership in years (18 cases), participant age (10 cases), number of children (six cases), and proximity to a preserved parcel of land (six cases). All other variables were missing less than five cases. If the entire survey instrument was complete, yet the last se ction (demographics) was blank (eight cases), the researcher contacted those partic ipants via telephone to attain the missing information. Seven of the eight respondents agreed to provide the information and stated they must have accidentally skipped that page. One particip ant could not be reached and th e questionnaire was therefore not analyzed. Multiple imputation for the missing data was computed via an advanced form of SPSS Version 15.0 with the expecta tion-maximization (EM) function. The EM function uses an expectation-maximization algorithm as a method of estimating the means, covariances, and Pearson correlations of all of the variables. Expe ctation-maximization is an iterative process that uses two steps for each iteration: (1) the E st ep computes expected values conditional on the observed data and the current estimates of the parameters, and (2) the M step calculates maximum-likelihood estimates of the parameters based on values that are computed in the E step. The use of EM allowed the researcher to proceed with complete-data techniques. The 94

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process resulted in statistical inferences that were valid and that accurately reflected the uncertainty resulting from missing values (Shafer & Graham, 2002). Once missing data was accounted for, the res earcher compared early to late respondents using selected demographic information and respons es to the dependent vari able to better control for nonresponse error (Ary et al., 2006). Lindner, Murphy and Briers (2001) stated that either early-late comparison or a follo w-up with nonrespondents are defen sible and generally excepted procedures for handling nonresponse error as a threat to external validity of research findings (p. 51). Also, previous research has shown th at late respondents are often similar to nonrespondents (Goldhor, 1974; Krushat & Molnar 1993). As recommended by Armstrong and Overton (1977), early and late respondents were operati onally defined by successive questionnaire waves. This study included th ree waves: (1) the or iginal questionnaire administration, (2) reminder/thank you postcar d, and (3) letter to nonrespondents and replacement questionnaire. Early respondents were those that res ponded within the first wave ( n = 115, 22.2%) and late respondents were those who responded within the final wave (n = 160, 31.0%). The researcher compared respondents based on age, gender, educati on level, ranch size, and responses to the dependent variable. Using a predetermined significance level of = .05, no significant differences existed between early and late respondents on their gender ( t = -1.511, df = 273, p = 0.132), education level ( t = -0.019, df = 273, p = 0.985), or ranch size ( t = -0.499, df = 273, p = 0.618). A significant difference was reported for pa rticipant age ( t = -2.123, df = 273, p = .035), where participant mean age in the first wave was 62.28 ( SD = 14.38) while the mean age in the third wave was 58.49 ( SD = 14.72). However, no significant difference existed between participants aged 62 ( n = 11) and those aged 58 ( n = 11) in their responses to the dependent variable ( t = 0.135, df = 20, p = 0.894). In comparing early-late re spondents on their responses to 95

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the dependent variable (behavioral intent to enter into a CE agreement), participants who had already entered into a CE agreement ( n = 13, 4.7%) were excluded from this analysis as they were asked to skip this section and were coded separately. Using data from the remaining 262 early and late respondents, no si gnificant difference existed on th eir responses to the dependent variable ( t = -0.527, df = 260, p = 0.599). Following imputation of missing values and comp arison of early to late respondents, the researcher compared measured sample demogr aphics to those availa ble through the National Agricultural Statistics Service 2002 Census of Agriculture (National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2007; 2008) and the 2005-2006 Farm Bill Survey conducted with Florida Producers (Clouser, 2006a). Given that demographic data specifically on Florida cattle ranchers was not available through either the National Agricultur al Statistics Service or the 2005-2006 Farm Bill Survey, the sample demographics for this study were compared to the broader categories of Florida farm operators in th e Census of Agriculture ( N = 40,000) and Florida producers in the 2005-2006 Farm Bill Survey ( N = 294) in attempt to gauge th e generalizability of the study. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (200 7) reported that the average farm size in the 2002 Census of Agriculture was 236 acres. Th e average farm size reported for Florida farmers and ranchers matched that of this study where the average ranch size was between 100 and 299 acres. Average farm size was not reported in the 2005-2006 Farm Bill Survey with Florida Producers. For average age, the 2002 Census of Agriculture reported that principle operators of Florida farms and ranches averaged 57 years of age. Likewise, the 2005-2006 Farm Bill Survey reported that the average age of Fl orida producers was almost 56 years. Similarly, the average age in this study was 60.74 years ( SD =13.87). Regarding participant sex, the Census of Agriculture reported that Florida farm operators were 81.6% male whereas 85% of 96

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respondents were male in the 2005-2006 Farm B ill Survey. In this study, the majority of participants were also male ( n = 434, 83.9%), with the percentage falling in between that of the Census of Agriculture and the 2005-2006 Farm B ill Survey. Lastly, average level of education for Florida producers reported in the 2005-2006 Farm Bill Survey was either some college or technical school education (35%). In this study, the average le vel of education attained by respondents was also a two year degree ( n = 100, 19.3%). However, most respondents were either (a) high school graduates or recei ved a graduate equivalency diploma (n = 195, 37.8%) or (b) a College Bachelors (4 year) degree ( n = 132, 25.5%). Education le vels of Florida farmers and ranchers specifically were not report ed in the 2002 Census of Agriculture. Data Analysis SPSS Version 16.0 for Windows was used to analyze the data. To meet Objective 1 of the study, participant characteristics were summar ized using frequencies, means, standard deviations, and cross-tabulations. Objective 2 was addressed via development of a correlation matrix prior to using multiple linear regression. The correlation matrix was examined for the potential of collinearity among the independent variables and to verify association between independe nt variables and the dependent variable (Agresti & Fi nlay, 2008). Multicollinearity was rechecked by regressing each independent variable onto the others and analyz ing whether a significant relationship existed (A. Agresti, Department of Statistics Distinguish ed Professor Emeritus, personal communication, January 11, 2007). Variables in the correlation matr ix that were not moderately to highly correlated with the dependent variable (with R-square values of at least 0 .10) were not included in the regression model. Before building regression models, assumptions related to multiple regression were tested and verified using recommendations by Osbor ne and Walters (2002). The assumption of 97

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normality was verified by visually analyzing data plots for skew, kurtosis, and the presence of outliers. In addition, Levenes test was used to check for homogeneity in variances. Also preceding regression analysis, principle component factor analysis was used as a data reduction technique. Aside from the three theory of pl anned behavior variable s that were calculated according to Ajzens (1991) recommendations, the factor scores for each of the multi-item constructs were then used as the variables within the multiple regression equations. Finally, structural equation modeling was used to (a) analyze the direct and indirect effect of variables in the regression model and (b) predict engage ment in a CE agreement (Objective 3). Analysis of Moment Structures (AMOS) Version 16.0, an extension of SPSS Version 16.0, was used to run the structural equation model. As mentioned by Byrne (2001), use of structural equation modeling involves two ke y aspects; (a) that the cau sal processes under study are represented by a series of struct ural (i.e. regression ) equations, and (b) that these structural relations can be modeled pictorially to enable a clearer conceptualizat ion of the theory under study (p. 3). Assumptions associated with structural equation modeling were tested and verified using recommendations by Schumacker and Lomax (1996). These assumptions included normal distribution of all indicators in the model, use of multiple indicators to measure latent variables, complete data (or appropriate data imputation), interval data, adequate model fit, and a large sample size. The results of both the multiple linea r regression analysis and structural equation model are presented in Chapter 4. Summary This chapter described the sampling and statisti cal methods used to meet the objectives of this study. The population of interest was discus sed and the target audience was justified. Development of the survey instrument was also described. This included the survey development interviews along with question items and response scales used to measure participant attitudes, 98

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99 subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, trust, past behavior, environmental identity, perceptions of specific conservation easement ch aracteristics, demographics and behavioral intent. Methods used to implement the pilot study were discussed and the results of the pilot study were presented to justify revisions to the in strument. Lastly, data analysis procedures were described, including the use of factor analysis in measuring responses and multiple linear regression and structural equati on modeling techniques to predict the likelihood of engaging in a conservation easement agreement.

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Theory of Planned Behavior External Variables Behavioral beliefs: strength & outcome evaluation (Section II) Normative beliefs: strength & motivation to comply (Section III) Control beliefs: strength & power ( Section IV ) Demographics (Sections I, VII & VIII) Attitude (indirect measurement) Subjective norms (indirect measurement) Perceived behavioral control (indirect measurement) Behavioral intent (Section VI) Perceptions of CE characteristics ( Section V ) Environmental identity (Section VII) Behavior: Trust (Section IV) Past Behavior (Section I) Already entered into a CE agreement or in the process of doing so (Section I) Figure 3-1. Summary of variab les measured in the study. Note. Items in parentheses represent components of the data collection instrument (Appendix J) measuring that variable. 100

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Introduction This chapter presents the results of the data analysis procedures th at were described in Chapter 3. First, the study response rate, reli ability and item discrimination by instrument construct, and factor analysis re sults are presented. The findings are then organized according to the three study objectives. The first section desc ribes participant charact eristics (study objective one). Next, relationships are displayed between the antecedent, independent, and dependent variables (study objective two). The final section presents results from multiple linear regression and structural equation modeling, which were us ed to predict engagement in a conservation easement agreement (study objective three). Study Response Rate Of the 1,000 questionnaires administered, 602 re sponses were received. The 602 responses included 517 that were usable while the remain ing 85 responses were deemed unusable due to refusal to participate or item nonresponse (w here at least 25% of the questionnaire was incomplete). Prior to administering the questionn aires, respondents were stratified into four groups according to projected county population increase from 2008 to 2012 (see Chapter 3). This way, an equal representation of cattle ranche rs according to projected development pressure was achieved. Table 4-1 summarizes re sponse rates by stratified grouping. Table 4-1. Response rate by projected county growth ( N = 602) Usable Unusable Total Projected growth F % f % F % Highest (over 10%) 137 26.5 20 23.5 157 26.1 Second highest (7-9%) 107 20.7 24 28.2 131 21.8 Third highest (4-6%) 144 27.9 18 21.2 162 26.9 Fourth highest (0-3%) 129 25.0 23 27.1 152 25.2 Total 517 100 85 100 602 100 101

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Reliability and Item Discrimina tion by Instrument Construct To determine internal consistency, Cronbachs alpha was calculated for subscale indices representing item constructs. The corrected item-total statistic was then used to determine item discrimination. Corrected item-total corre lations over 0.20 denoted satisfactory item discrimination (A. Agresti, Department of Statis tics Distinguished Professor Emeritus, personal communication, March 7, 2007). Reliability and item discrimination were calculated for attitudes, subjective norms, per ceived behavioral control, trus t, environmental identity, and behavioral intent. Reliability was not calculated fo r past behavior or perceptions of specific CE characteristics as these were individual items that were not part of a scale. Thus, the items within past behavior and perceptions of specific CE ch aracteristics were analyzed individually. Internal consistency coefficients for each variable analyzed are presented in Table 4-2. Table 4-2. Reliability coefficients (Cronbachs alpha) for constructs Instrument component Construct Reliability Section II Attitudes 0.928 Section III Subjective normative beliefs 0.696 Section IV Perceived behavioral control 0.637 Section IV Trust 0.878 Section VII Environmental identity 0.879 Section VI Behavioral intent 0.868 The reliability coefficient for the eight item s within the attitudinal construct was 0.928. Item discrimination analysis indicated that th e corrected item-total correlations ranged from 0.659 to 0.786, indicating satisfactory item disc rimination. The eight subscale indices representing the attitudina l construct are listed in Table 4-3 an d can also be found in Section II of Appendix J. For each of the variables consisting of subscale indices (see Tables 4-3, 4-4, 4-5, 4-6, 4-7, and 4-8), response options ranged from one (lowest) to five (highest). 102

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Table 4-3. Subscale indices representing attitude ( N = 517) Subscale indices M SD A conservation easement is a good way to help preserve the Florida ranching lifestyle 3.46 1.196 A conservation easement is a good way to ensure that well into the future, my land will look similar to what it does today 3.54 1.236 A conservation easement is a good way to allow me and my family to remain in the cattle ranching business 3.20 1.265 A conservation easement is a good way to permanently preserve my land in agriculture 3.39 1.288 Using conservation easements to preserve the Florida ranching lifestyle is 3.66 1.126 Ensuring well into the future that my land looks similar to the way it does now would be 3.75 1.106 My familys ability to rema in in cattle ranching is 3.35 1.197 Permanently preserving my land in agriculture is 3.64 1.220 For the six subjective normative belief items the reliability coefficient was 0.696. Item discrimination revealed that all sub-items ha d corrected item-total correlations between 0.304 and 0.511, indicating satisfactory item discrimination. The lower reli ability in subjective norms can be explained by the motivation to comply items in this variable. For example, family influence in everyday decision-making is, on aver age, much higher than the influence of ones neighbors. The six subscale indi ces representing the s ubjective norms constr uct are listed in Table 4-4 and can also be found in Section III of Appendix J. Table 4-4. Subscale indices re presenting subjective norms ( N = 517) Subscale indices M SD My neighbors would probably be in terested in entering into a CE agreement 2.53 1.091 Generally speaking, how much do your neighbors opinions influence your decisions? 1.83 1.010 Other cattle ranchers that I respect would support my entering into a CE agreement, if I wanted to do so. 3.29 1.151 Generally speaking, how much do you car e what these ranchers think you should do? 2.39 1.214 My family would likely be interested in entering the ranch into a CE agreement. 2.54 1.195 In general, how much does your familys opinion influence your decision-making? 3.71 1.305 103

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The reliability for the six perceived behavioral control items was 0.637. Item discrimination analysis indicated that the corrected item-total correlations ranged from 0.264 to 0.477, demonstrating satisfactory item discrimination. The lower reliab ility of this scale can be explained in part by the average agreement, for example, that the decision to enter into a CE would be mostly up to participants and in their control, yet average disagreement that the CE process would involve little ris k. The six subscale indices repres enting the perceived behavioral control construct ar e listed in Table 4-5 and can also be found in Section IV of Appendix J. Table 4-5. Subscale indices representi ng perceived behavioral control ( N = 517) Subscale indices M SD The decision to enter into a CE would be mostly up to me 3.67 1.255 The decision to enter into a CE would involve little risk 2.64 1.177 The decision to enter into a CE would be in my control 3.41 1.293 Entering into a CE would not require more time and energy than I have 3.11 1.143 Entering into a CE would not be too complicated of a process for me 3.03 1.205 Entering into a CE would not involve too many restrict ions and requirements 3.16 1.286 The reliability coefficient for the three items measuring part icipant trust was 0.878. Corrected item-total correlations for th ese items ranged from 0.753 to 0.755, indicating satisfactory discrimination among sub-items. The three subscale indices representing the trust construct are listed in Table 4-6 and can al so be found in Section IV of Appendix J. Table 4-6. Subscale indices repr esenting participant trust ( N = 517) Subscale indices M SD I would trust an organizations or ag encys ability to preserve my land permanently 2.24 1.168 Generally speaking, I have a lot of faith in programs like CEs 2.51 1.135 I would trust an organizati on/agency to fairly negotiate the terms in a CE agreement 2.20 1.066 The reliability of the 12 environmental id entity items was 0.879. Corrected item-total correlations ranged from 0.424 to 0.701, again in dicating satisfactory discrimination. The 12 subscale indices representing the environmental iden tity construct are listed in Table 4-7 and can also be found in Section VII of Appendix J. 104

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Table 4-7. Subscale indices representing environmental identity ( N = 517) Subscale indices M SD When I am upset or stressed, I feel better by spending some time outdoors, connecting with nature 4.38 0.729 Living near nature is important to me; I would never want to live in a city 4.50 0.767 If I had enough time or money, I would cer tainly devote some of it to working for conservation-based causes 3.51 1.095 I think of myself as part of nature, not separate from it 4.11 0.856 I have a lot in common with conservationists as a group 3.17 1.197 I feel that I have roots with a part icular geographic location that had a significant impact on my development 3.93 0.953 Behaving responsibly toward the Earth living sustainablyis very important to me 4.20 0.808 Learning about nature should be an important part of every childs upbringing 4.49 0.593 If I had to choose, I would rather live in a small house with a natural view than a bigger house with a view of other buildings 4.59 0.669 I would feel that an import ant part of my life were mi ssing if I were not able to get out and enjoy nature from time to time 4.62 0.601 Interacting with nature is very important to me 4.48 0.684 My own interests usually seem to coincide with the position advocated by conservationists 3.23 1.129 For the six items within the dependent variable participants who had already entered into a CE agreement (N = 30) were excluded from analysis give n that they were as ked to skip this section. Reliability for the remaining 487 cases was 0.868. The corrected item-total correlations for the six sub-items in this construct ra nged from 0.311 to 0.833. The six subscale indices representing the behavioral intent to enter into a CE agreement construct are listed in Table 4-8 and can also be found in Section VI of Appendix J. Table 4-8. Subscale indices repr esenting behavioral intent ( N = 487) Subscale indices M SD How likely would you be to discuss with a family member the possibility of entering into a CE agreement? 3.23 1.419 How likely would you be to attend a wo rkshop about CEs in the future? 3.09 1.307 How likely would you be to consult w ith a conservation organization or agency about the CE process? 2.88 1.310 How likely would you be to enter in to a 30-year CE agreement? 2.40 1.262 How likely would you be to enter into a permanent CE agreement by selling (receiving a payment) your development rights? 2.38 1.291 How likely would you be to enter into a CE agreement by donating (NOT receiving a payment) your development rights? 1.38 0.739 105

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Factor Analysis and Construct Validity Principle component factor anal ysis was then applied to r echeck the reliability of each construct and to ensure validity of the constructs that were measur ed. When more than one factor emerged from the data, Promax rotation was us ed. Kim and Mueller (1978) recommend Promax rotation when individual items encompassing a variable are believed to be highly related. Aside from the theory of planned behavior variables, fa ctor scores were then used as variables in the regression model. For the thre e theory of planned behavior variables, Ajzens (1991) recommendations for computing th e variables were used. Therefor e, the researcher used both summated scale scores and factor scores in the regression model. The use of factor scores and summated scale scores as variables in a regre ssion model does not compromise the validity of the dependent variable (H. Ladewig, Profe ssor, personal communication, September 5, 2008). Attitude Table 4-9 summarizes results of a principal component factor analysis on the eight items representing respondent attitude toward CE s. The eight items accounted for 66.759% of the variability in participant attitude with only one factor extracted. Examining the communalities, the factor structure accounted for 70.9% of the variance in the be havioral belief that CEs are a good tool for permanently preserving land in agri culture. The individual items comprising this factor were used to compute participant attitude as recommended by Ajzen (1991). Thus, each behavioral belief was multiplied by its correspond ing outcome evaluation and the products were summed together. Although factor scores for participant attitude were not used as variables in the regression analysis to predict be havioral intent, fact or analysis procedur es were applied to examine internal consistenc y and construct validity. 106

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Table 4-9. Factor loadings for attitude (Section II) ( N = 517) Variable Factor Communality Behavioral beliefs: Permanently preserve land in agriculture 0.842 0.709 Preserve ranc hing lifestyle 0.825 0.681 Land will look similar into future 0.824 0.679 Allow family to remain in ranching 0.817 0.667 Outcome evaluations: Permanently preserve land in agriculture 0.819 0.670 Preserve ranc hing lifestyle 0.831 0.691 Land will look similar into future 0.839 0.704 Allow family to remain in ranching 0.734 0.539 Eigenvalue 5.341 Percent of variance explained 66.759 Subjective Norms Principal component factor anal ysis was applied to the six items comprising the subjective norms construct and the results are presented in Table 4-10. Two factor s were extracted and Promax rotation was used for a better interpretation of the data. The first factor consisted of the three normative belief items and accounted for 40.426% of the variance in participant subjective norms. The second factor consisted of the three motivation to comply items and accounted for an additional 18.923% of the variance. Together, the two f actors explained 59.35% of the variability in participant subjective norms. A moderate positive association existed between the two factors ( r = 0.345). Similar to participant attitude, the individual items comprising this factor were used to compute participant subj ective normative beliefs as recommended by Ajzen (1991). Therefore, each normative belief was then multi plied by its corresponding motivation to comply and the products were summed together. Although factor scores for subj ective normative beliefs were not used as variables in the regression analys is to predict behavioral intent, factor analysis procedures were again applie d to examine internal consistency and construct validity. 107

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Table 4-10. Factor loadings for subjective norms (Section III) ( N = 517) Variable Factor 1: Normative beliefs Factor 2: Motivation to comply Communality Normative beliefs: Family 0.835 0.297 0.697 Other cattle ranchers 0.788 0.227 0.624 Neighbors 0.747 0.321 0.563 Motivation to comply: Other cattle ranchers 0.333 0.827 0.686 Neighbors 0.199 0.824 0.687 Family 0.267 0.544 0.303 Eigenvalues 2.426 1.135 Percent of variance explained 40.426 18.923 Cumulative percent of va riance explained 40.426 59.350 Correlation between factors 0.345 Perceived Behavioral Control Table 4-11 presents the results of a principal component factor analysis on the six items comprising participant perceived be havioral control. As in subj ective norms, two factors were extracted and Pomax rotation was us ed to better interpret the data. The first factor consisted of the three control beliefs items and accounted for 36.255% of the variability in perceived behavioral control. The second factor contained the three per ceived power of control belief items, and these explained an additional 26.89% of the variability. Together the two factors explained 63.145% of the variance in perceived behavioral control. A low positive association existed between the two factors (r = 0.151). Using Ajzens (1991) recommendations, each control belief was multiplied by its corresponding perceived power item and the products were summed together to form the perc eived behavioral control variab le. Again, factor analysis was conducted on this variable to determine in ternal consistency a nd construct validity. 108

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Table 4-11. Factor loadings for percei ved behavioral control (Section IV) ( N = 517) Variable Factor 1: Control beliefs Factor 2: Perceived power Communality Control beliefs: Individual decision 0.853 0.125 0.728 Control 0.821 0.239 0.688 Risk 0.735 -0.002 0.554 Perceived power: Time 0.156 0.879 0.773 Complexity 0.069 0.818 0.672 Restrictions 0.111 0.612 0.375 Eigenvalues 2.175 1.613 Percent of variance explained 36.255 26.890 Cumulative percent of va riance explained 36.255 63.145 Correlation between factors 0.151 Trust Table 4-12 displays results from a principal component factor analysis on the three items representing respondent trust. Collectively, the items accounted for 80.447% of the variability in participant trust with only one factor extrac ted. From the communalities, the factor structure accounted for 81.4% of the variance in participant trust in an organization or agency to fairly negotiate the terms of a CE agreement. For partic ipant trust, the factor scores were used as a variable in the regression model to predict behavioral intent. Table 4-12. Factor loadings for participant trust (Section IV) ( N = 517) Variable Factor Communality Trust in fair negotiation 0.902 0.814 Trust in permanent preservation 0.898 0.807 Faith in CE programs 0.891 0.793 Eigenvalue 2.413 Percent of variance explained 80.447 Environmental Identity Table 4-13 presents results of a principal component factor anal ysis of the 12 items representing environmental iden tity. Two factors were extracted and Promax rotation was used to better interpret the data. The first factor comprised of eight ite ms and accounted for 46.003% 109

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of the variance in environmental identity. Each of the eight items concerned relatedness to nature. Therefore, Factor 1 was termed Nature Identity. The second fact or comprised of four items and accounted for 11.98% of the remaining va riability in environmental identity. These four items related to conservation and sustai nability. As a result, Factor 2 was termed Conservation Identity. Together, the two f actors accounted for 57.983% of the variance in environmental identity. A substa ntial positive association exis ted between the two factors ( r = 0.535) indicating that as ones natu re identity increased, so did th eir conservation identity. Factor scores for the two factors were used as indivi dual variables in the regression model to predict behavioral intent. Table 4-13. Factor loadings for envi ronmental identity (Section VII) ( N = 517) Variable Factor 1: Nature identity Factor 2: Conservation identity Communality Interacting with nature 0.865 0.470 0.749 Enjoying nature 0.828 0.378 0.692 Learning about nature 0.752 0.463 0.571 Small house with natural view 0.741 0.371 0.550 Connecting with nature 0.697 0.433 0.491 Part of nature 0.660 0.522 0.475 Living near nature 0.627 0.217 0.412 Roots in geographic location 0.453 0.421 0.250 In common with conservationists 0.416 0.906 0.828 Interests coincide with conservationists 0.398 0.852 0.731 Devote time and money to conservation 0.465 0.824 0.680 Living sustainably 0.630 0.644 0.529 Eigenvalues 5.520 1.438 Percent of variance explained 46.003 11.980 Cumulative percent of va riance explained 46.003 57.983 Correlation between factors 0.535 Behavioral Intent Lastly, a principal component factor analys is was conducted on the six items comprising the dependent variable of the study and the resu lts are presented in Table 4-14. One factor was extracted and the six items accounted for 60.623% of the variability in behavioral intent. Using 110

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the communalities, the factor st ructure accounted for 81.6% of the variance in the item reflecting likelihood of consulting with a conservation organi zation or agency about the CE process. The factor scores for behavioral inte nt were used as the dependent va riable in the regression model given the increased ri gor in comparison to summated scale scores (N. Fuhrman, Assistant Professor, personal communication, September 12, 2008). The factor scores indicated the contribution of each individual action item to ones total behavioral intent score. Again, the only variables in which factor scores were not used in the regression model were attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control as these variables were calculated in accordance to the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991). Table 4-14. Factor loadings for be havioral intent (Section VI) ( N = 487) Variable Factor Communality Discuss with family member 0.795 0.632 Attend a workshop 0.856 0.732 Consult with organization or agency 0.903 0.816 Enter into 30-year agreement 0.808 0.653 Enter into permanent agreement (payment) 0.796 0.633 Enter into permanent agreement (no payment) 0.413 0.171 Eigenvalue 3.637 Percent of variance explained 60.623 Objective One Participant Description in Terms of Selected Demographic Characteristics The first objective of this study was to desc ribe participants in terms of selected demographic characteristics. Therefore, this sect ion describes participants according to collected demographic information and also uses selected demographic information to analyze potential differences between particip ants on given constructs. Sex, Age, Number of Children, and Education The majority of participants in the study were male ( n = 434, 83.9%). Participant age ranged from 21 to 99 years ( M = 60.74 years, SD = 13.87). When asked to indicate how many 111

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children they had, participant res ponses ranged from zero to eight ( M = 2.44, SD = 1.42). Specifically, 43 respondents (8.3%) had zero ch ildren, 71 (13.7%) ha d one child, 181 (35.0%) had two children, 125 (24.2%) had three childre n, 57 (11%) had four children, 25 (4.8%) had five children, and the remaining 15 ( 2.9%) had from six to eight children. Level of education ranged from some high school or less (coded as 1) to a graduate degree (coded as 5). The mean level of education atta ined by respondents was a two year degree (coded as 3) ( M = 3.06, SD = 1.15). However, the highest number of respondents for both males and females had either a high school degree or a graduate equivalency diploma ( n = 195, 37.8%). Table 4-15 summarizes particip ant education level by sex. Table 4-15. Education level by sex ( N = 517) Sex Male Female Total Education level f % f % f % Some high school or less 20 4.6 2 2.4 22 4.3 High school graduate or GED 161 37.1 34 41.0 195 37.8 Two year degree 86 19.8 14 16.9 100 19.3 College Bachelors (4 year) degree 111 25.6 21 25.3 132 25.5 Graduate degree 56 12.9 12 14.5 68 13.2 Total 434 100 83 100 517 100 Ranch Size, Years of Family Ownership, Ow nership Type, Likely Future of the Ranch Ranch size ranged from one to 49 acres (coded as 1) to over 10,000 acres (coded as 8). The mean ranch size was between 100 and 299 acres (coded as 3) ( M = 3.43, SD = 1.99). Next, years of family ownership varied wi dely across participants, with the minimum years of ownership equaling two, and the maximum equaling 178 ( M = 46.80, SD = 32.63). To analyze the relationship between years of family ownership a nd ranch size, the researcher transformed years of family ownership into four percentiles: (1) the first 25% (1-20 years), (2) 26-50% (21-40 years), 51-75% (41-65 years), and 76-100% (over 65 years). Ta ble 4-16 summarizes length of family ownership in quartiles by ranch size. A significant difference existed between ownership 112

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year quartiles and ranch si ze (Chi-square = 82.000, df = 21, p = .000). Pearson correlation demonstrated that the association between years of family ownership and average ranch size was significant and mode rately positive ( r = .334, p = .000). Table 4-16. Ranch size by ownership quartiles ( N = 517) Ownership 1-20 years 21-40 years 41-65 years 65+ years Total Ranch size f % f % f % f % f % 1-49 acres 46 35.4 41 30.4 15 11.9 11 8.7 113 21.9 50-100 acres 26 20.0 21 15.6 22 17.5 13 10.3 82 15.9 100-299 acres 29 22.3 31 23.0 27 21.4 30 23.8 117 22.6 300-499 acres 6 4.6 10 7.4 8 6.4 12 9.5 36 7.0 500-999 acres 8 6.2 10 7.4 20 15.9 18 14.3 56 10.8 1,000-4,999 acres 12 9.2 18 13.3 28 22.2 23 18.3 81 15.7 5,000-10,000 acres 3 2.3 3 2.2 5 4.0 9 7.1 20 3.9 Over 10,000 acres 0 0 1 0.7 1 0.8 10 7.9 12 2.3 Total 130 100 135 100 126 100 126 100 517 100 Note. Chi-square = 82.000, df = 21, p = .000 When asked about which ownership type best suited their situati on, the majority of respondents ( n = 317, 61.3%) selected individual owne rship. The remaining ownership types included co-ownership ( n = 135, 26.1%), corporation ( n = 55, 10.6%), and majority leased ( n = 10, 1.9%). Most respondents ( n = 403, 77.9%) indicated that when they finish ranching, their ranch would be inherited by a family member. An additional 2.1% ( n = 11) indicated that the ranch would be sold to a family member. Less than one percent indicated that their ranch would be inherited by a friend (n =3, 0.6%), whereas 4.6% ( n = 24) indicated they would sell their ranch to a friend. Forty-four respondents (8.5%) mentione d they would be selling their ranch to a developer and seven (1.4%) indicated their ra nch would either be donated or sold to a conservation entity. The remaining 25 respondents (4.8%) checked other, with most indicating that they were unsure about the future of their ranch. 113

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Proximity to Preserved Parcel, Proximity to Urban Development, and Perceived Land Conservation Value When asked whether their ranch was near (wit hin 10 miles) a preser ved parcel of land, 154 respondents (29.8%) indicated that their land was not near a preserved parcel. The majority of respondents (n = 328, 63.4%) indicated that their ranch was within 10 miles of a preserved parcel of land while an additional 35 ( 6.8%) indicated that they were unsure. Table 4-17 summarizes proximity to a preserved parcel of land by projected county populati on increase from 2008 to 2012. A significant difference was found betw een groups (Chi-square = 16.396, df = 6, p = .012). Pearson correlation demonstrated that the association between proximity to a preserved parcel of land and projected population increase wa s significant and moderately negative ( r = -0.119, p = .007). Therefore, as projected c ounty population growth from 2008 to 2012 increased, the likelihood of living within 10 mile s to a preserved parcel of land decreased. Table 4-17. Proximity to a preserved parcel of land by projected population increase ( N = 517) Projected population increase Proximity to Over 10% 7-9% 4-6% 0-3% Total preserved parcel f % f % f % f % F % Yes 38 27.7 23 21.7 39 26.5 54 42.5 154 29.8 No 8 5.8 9 8.5 8 5.4 10 7.9 35 6.8 Unsure 91 66.4 74 69.8 100 68.0 63 49.6 328 63.4 Total 137 100 106 100 147 100 127 100 517 100 Note. Chi-square = 16.396, df = 6, p = .012 Estimated proximity to a parcel of land th at was being converted to urban development was measured as a continuous variable and re sponses varied from zero miles to 70 miles ( M = 7.85, SD = 8.83). Over half of respondents (n = 283, 54.7%) indicated that their ranch was located five miles or less from a parcel of land that was being converted to urban development. Next, 111 respondents (21.5%) indicated that their ranch was between six and ten miles from a parcel of land that was being converted into urban development. The remaining 123 respondents (23.8%) indicated that they lived at least 11 miles from a preserved parcel of land. Pearson 114

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correlation demonstrated that the relationship between projected population increase and estimated proximity to a parcel of land th at was being converted into development was statistically signifi cant and negative ( r = -.121, p = .006). Therefore, as projected population growth increased, estimated proximity to urban development decreased. However, the magnitude of the relationship between the tw o variables was low (Davis, 1971). Respondents were also asked to indicate the perceived conserva tion value of their land to Florida wildlife and water resources. Most respo ndents felt that the conservation value of their land was either average ( n = 200, 38.7%), moderately high (n = 146, 28.2%), or extremely high ( n = 113, 21.9%). Fifteen respondents (2.9%) indi cated that the conservation value of their ranch was extremely low while 43 (8.3%) indicate d that the conservation value of their ranch was moderately low. A statistically significant, yet moderately low, positive relationship (r = .280, p = .000) existed between ranch size and perceived conservation value. Extension Consulting, Cattlemens Association Involvement, Conservation Group Membership, Familiarity with Conservation Easements, and Past Behavior When asked to indicate approximately how often respondents sought advice from their local Extension service, the majority responded that they used this service never ( n = 158, 30.6%), once a year ( n = 172, 33.3%), or quarterly ( n = 131, 25.3%). Forty-eight respondents (9.3%) used Extensi on monthly and only eight (1.5 %) used it weekly. Mean use of Extension was once a year (coded as 2) (M = 2.18, SD = 1.02). Participants were then asked to indicate whether they were curre ntly serving or had recently served a leadership role for their stat e/local Cattlemens Association. Most respondents ( n = 418, 80.9%) had not served such a role. Tabl e 4-18 shows results to this question by sex. 115

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Table 4-18. Cattlemens Associati on leadership role by sex ( N = 517) Sex Male Female Total Leadership role f % f % f % Yes 89 20.5 10 12.1 99 19.2 No 345 79.5 73 88.0 418 80.9 Total 434 100 83 100 517 100 Next, participants were asked whether they were a member of any local, state, or national conservation groups. The majority ( n = 439, 84.9%) were not members of any conservation groups. Table 4-19 summarizes cons ervation group membership by sex. Table 4-19. Membership to conservation groups by sex ( N = 517) Sex Male Female Total Membership f % f % f % Yes 66 15.2 12 14.5 78 15.1 No 368 84.8 71 85.5 439 84.9 Total 434 100 83 100 517 100 At the beginning of the instrument, participants were asked to rate their familiarity with the term conservation easement. Mean familiarity with the term was 2.87, or somewhat familiar ( SD = 1.33). A relatively equal number of participants felt they were either not at all familiar ( n = 107, 20.7%), slightly familiar (107, 20.7%), somewhat familiar ( n = 121, 23.4%), or fairly familiar (n = 112, 21.7%) with the te rm. Seventy (13.5%) res pondents felt they were very familiar with the term conservation easement. Lastly, concerning past behavi or, only 69 of the 517 respond ents (13%) had previously attended a CE workshop or seminar, 14 of which had already entered or were in the process of entering into a CE agreement. Similarly, only 97 of the 517 respondents (19%) had approached or been approached by a CE organization or agen cy about entering into a CE agreement, 24 of which had already entered or were in the process of entering in to a CE agreement. 116

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Attitude, Subjective Norms, and Perceived Behavioral Control The attitude variable was calculated accord ing to Ajzens (1991) recommendations. Given that there were four behavi oral beliefs and corresponding out come evaluations, respondent scores could range from four to 100. The mean attitudinal score for the 434 males was 52.30 ( SD = 26.19), while the mean attitudinal score for the 83 females was 54.46 ( SD = 26.18). The overall mean score for attitude was 52.65 ( SD = 26.17). Ajzens (1991) recommendations were also used to calculate su bjective norms. The mean score for the 434 males was 23.41 ( SD = 12.50), while the mean score for the 83 females was 20.34 ( SD = 12.17). The overall mean score for subjective norms was 22.91 out of 75 ( SD = 12.49). As with attitude and subjective norms, Aj zens (1991) recommendations were used to calculate participant pe rceived behavioral control. The mean score for the 434 males was 30.65 ( SD = 14.03), while the mean score for the 83 females was 29.47 ( SD = 15.94). The overall mean score for perceived behavioral control was 30.47 ( SD = 14.34). As there were three control belief items and corresponding perceived power of control belief items, the maximum score participants could attain was again 75 while the minimum possible score was three. Trust, Nature Identity, Conservation Identity, and Behavioral Intent Although factor scores were used in the re gression model for trust, nature identity, conservation identity, and behavioral intent summated scale scores were used to describe participants given their ease of interpretation; Factor scores indicate small negative and positive values that are difficult to interpret for descri ptive statistics. Thus, onl y in this section are summated scale scores used for these variables. For participant trust, scores could range from three to fifteen given that there were three participant trust items, each ranging from one to five. The mean score for the 434 male respondents was 6.97 ( SD = 3.03) and the mean score for the 83 female respondents was 6.86 117

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( SD = 3.00). The overall mean score for partic ipant trust was relatively low, at 6.95 ( SD = 3.02). For the eight items comprising participant nature identity, participant scores could range from eight to 40 given that scales of one to five we re used for each item. The mean score for the 434 male respondents was 35.11 ( SD = 4.08), while the mean score for the 83 females was almost identical at 35.14 ( SD = 4.16). Overall mean score for natu re identity was high, at 35.12 ( SD = 4.09). As with participant nature identity, scor es for the four items consisting of ones conservation identity each item ranged from one to five. Therefore, the potential scores respondents could receive ranged from four to 20. The mean score for the 434 males was 14.10 ( SD = 3.41), while the mean score for the 83 females was moderate, at 14.14 ( SD = 3.95). Overall mean score for ones conservation identity was 14.11 ( SD = 3.50). Lastly, given that respondents who had alrea dy entered into a CE agreement or who were in the process of doing so were excluded from analysis regarding the dependent variable, 487 responses were analyzed. Participant scores for the six items comprising the dependent variable could range from six to 30 as scales from one to five were used for each item. The mean score for the remaining 412 male respondents was 15.60 ( SD = 5.79), while the mean score for the remaining 75 female respondents in their res ponses to the dependent variable was 14.04 ( SD = 5.64). Overall mean score for the dependent variable was 15.36 ( SD = 5.78). Objective Two Identify the Relationship Between Ant ecedent and Independent Variables and the Dependent Variable. Prior to building a regression model to explai n participant likelihood of engaging in a CE agreement (the dependent variable), the rela tionship between the antecedent and independent variables and the dependent variable was examin ed using a correlation matrix. For the attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral cont rol variables in the correlation matrix, Ajzens 118

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(1991) recommendations for calculati ng the variables were followed. For participant trust, nature identity, conservation identity, and behavioral intent (the dependent variable ), factor scores were used in the correlation matrix. The additional variables in the correlation matrix concerned individual variables assessing participant pa st behavior, perceptions of specific CE characteristics, and participant demographics. Table 4-20 presents results from a correlation matrix of the antecedent and independent variables and likelihood of engaging in a CE agreement (dependent variable). Before running the correlation analysis, scatterplots were constructed between the ma jor variables in the model and the dependent variable to meet the assumptions for r including (1) linearity and (2) homoscedasticity (Miller, 1994; 1998). Again, factor scores were us ed for all constructs in the correlation matrix aside from the three theory of planned behavior variables, which were calculated according to Ajzen s (1991) recommendations. As illustrated in Table 4-20, almost all of th e variables in the co rrelation matrix were statistically significant in their co rrelation with the dependent variable, aside from (1) number of children, (2) family ownership of the ranch in year s, (3) likely future of the ranch, (4) proximity to urban development, and (5) projected coun ty growth. Although the remaining 30 variables were marked as statistically significant at the predetermined alpha = 0.05 level, Miller (1998) warns that a correlation can be very small and of little practical importance but still be statistically significant because statistical si gnificance is a function of sample size. Reporting and interpreting a coefficient of determination ( r2) would be much more appropriate (p. 6). Given the large sample size in this analysis ( N = 487), the researcher tabulated r2 values for each of the 30 variables that were listed in the correlat ion matrix as being statistically significant with the dependent variable (r2 values were tabulated by squaring the r values in the correlation 119

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120 matrix). Any variable that expl ained less than 10% of the varian ce in the dependent variable in the matrix was excluded from analysis in the regression model. Ten percent was chosen as the cutoff point as r values below 0.30 are considered either negligible or low in their description of the magnitude in the dependent va riable (Davis, 1971). The correlation matrix for the remaining thirteen antecedent and independe nt variables that explained over 10% of the variance in the dependent variable are illustrated in Table 4-21. As Table 4-21 illustrates, the following variables explained at least 10% of the variance in the dependent variable: attit ude, subjective norms, trust, c onservation identity, receiving a payment for a CE, estate tax deductions, propert y tax deductions, ability to keep land in its current use, the perpetual (forev er) nature of CEs, providing a sanctuary for wildlife, protection from future development, sale or donation of certain property rights, an d perceived conservation value. According to the magnitude of r attitude, subjective norms a nd trust were substantially related to the dependent variable while all other variables were moderately related (Davis, 1971). Although only 13 variables were included in Table 4-21, each additional variable was individually examined in the regression analysis (g iven the other variables in the final model) to verify the lack of a significant contribution to the dependent va riable (both statistically and practically). Of those variables that indicated st atistical significance given other variables in the regression model, the largest cont ribution to R-square was approximately one percent. Given that good model building follows the principle of parsimony (Agresti & Finlay, 2008, pp. 607-608) and the contribution to R-square was minimal with each of the additional variables, none were kept in the final model.

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Table 4-20. Correlations between variables ( N = 487) Var. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 1 -.524* .235* .567* .344* .454* .072 .112* .359* .369* .316* .176* .515* .498* .432* .242* .488* .371* 2 -.182* .449* .273* .409* .049 .106* .273* .260* .239* .142* .413* .324* .296* .177* .345* .272* 3 -.219* .181* .258* .083 .005 .054 .028 .060 .209* .217* .223* .164* .180* .181* .204* 4 -.175* .416* .070 .101* .314* .246* .232* .186* .328* .443* .358* .229* .386* .323* 5 -.527* .020 .036 .191* .267* .243* .131* .376* .263* .376* .199* .352* .209* 6 -.067 .010 .285* .283* .247* .202* .384* .398* .521* .275* .424* .296* 7 -.395* .130* .045 .017 .014 -.012 -.103* .066 .060 -.034 .058 8 -.223* .156* .111* .041 .062 -.034 .067 .051 .000 .133* 9 -.710* .645* .373* .432* .289* .373* .160* .232* .305* 10 -.813* .358* .466* .283* .375* .188* .286* .250* 11 -.391* .484* .312* .418* .184* .309* .239* 12 -.357* .320* .222* .283* .164* .286* 13 -.551* .544* .232* .506* .318* 14 -.511* .368* .520* .413* 15 -.272* .462* .258* 16 -.429* .456* 17 -5* 18 .46 Note p <.05 Var. Variable Var. Variable Var. Variable 1 Attitude 13 Ability to keep land in its curren t use 25 Family ownership of ranch in years 2 Subjective norms 14 Perpetual (forever) nature of CEs 26 Likely future of ranch 3 Perceived behavioral control 15 Providing a sanctuary for wildlife 27 Ownership type 4 Trust 16 Potential reduction in property value 28 Ranch size 5 Nature identity 17 Protection from future development 29 Age 6 Conservation identity 18 Sale/donation of certain property rights 30 Sex 7 Past attendance at CE workshop/seminar 19 Familiarity with CEs 31 Education 8 Previously approached by CE entity 20 Perceived co nservation value 32 Proximity to a preserved parcel 9 Receiving payment for CE 21 Use of Exte nsion 33 Proximity to urban development 10 Estate tax deductions 22 Cattlemens Association leadership role 34 Projected county growth 11 Property tax deductions 23 Conservation organization membership 35 Behavioral intent (dependent variable) 12 Paying legal fees 24 Number of children 121

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Table 4-20 (continued). Var 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 1 .264* .230* .125* .172* .194* -.039 -.043 .017 .008 .089 .081 .019 .099* .124* -.002 .012 .538* 2 .214* .239* .198* .165* .163* .031 .078 -.080 .048 .078 .015 -.108* .095* .073 -.031 -062 .542* 3 .016 .089 -.007 .028 .096* .029 -.032 -.073 -.170* -.092* -.010 -.032 -.060 .033 -.009 -.032 .170* 4 .200* .126* .117* .049 .231* -.013 -.006 .091* .021 .053 -.013 -.037 .143* .067 -.005 .009 .496* 5 .127* .297* .123* .072 .140* -.038 .063 -.090* -.013 .002 .144* -.021 -.075 .102* -.041 .055 .312* 6 .178* .318* .185* .057 .287* -.031 .017 -.014 -.014 -.016 .067 .003 .041 .073 -.038 .031 .439* 7 .391* .116* .138* .114* .205* -.015 .099* .053 -.005 .215* -.091* -.026 .092* .093* -.005 .037 .115* 8 .418* .174* .089* .096* .205* .035 .170* .044 .084 .358* -.022 -.068 .033 .173* -.008 -.012 .218* 9 .262* .154* .140* .136* .122* -.117* .101* .008 .165* .225* .132* -.070 .196* .124* -.061 .040 .412* 10 .180* .157* .126* .163* .055 -.141* .096* .010 .141* .238* .171* -.056 .111* .135* -.010 .020 .398* 11 .116* .110* .048 .077 .055 -.109* .039 .033 .068 .096* .122* -.068 .077 .108* .006 .020 .349* 12 .084 .018 .137* .096* .040 .026 .037 .011 .020 .081 -.080 -.010 -.025 .103* -.067 -.026 .238* 13 .075 .220* .095* .117* .117* -.074 .016 -.010 .037 .052 .111* .007 .030 .121* -.010 -.009 .451* 14 .025 .120* .005 .028 .069 -.065 -.044 .026 -.043 -.076 .042 .046 .011 .083 -.074 .036 .383* 15 .129* .261* .071 .051 .138* -.073 .007 -.008 .052 .033 .073 .029 .083 .067 .007 .048 .374* 16 .049 .107* .070 .061 .144* -.028 .031 -.034 -.055 .009 -.067 .035 -.033 -.005 -.034 .017 .228* 17 .068 .185* .038 .092* .153* -.018 -.031 -.039 -.007 -.076 .132* .043 .035 .069 .032 -.042 .430* 18 .135* .140* .059 .113* .021 -.034 .038 .085 .048 .063 .058 -.003 .135* .159* -.024 .000 .473* 19 -.157* .246* .278* .242* -.058 .147* .076 .167* .313* .049 -.110* .215* .117* .070 -.041 .311* 20 -.073 .123* .099* .041 .031 .028 .060 .224* .082 .047 .016 .156* -.052 .074 .355* 21 -.188* .128* .037 .120* -.017 .077 .200* -.003 -.026 .093* .046 -.024 -.088 .217* 22 -.122* -.013 .176* .014 .139* .219* .002 -.071 .069 .094* .012 -.018 .114* 23 --.019 .042 -.015 -.017 .043 .000 -.013 .137* .035 .007 -.020 .230* 24 --.143* -.086 -.011 -.006 -.240* -.062 -.096* -.021 -.010 -.075 .012 25 --.178* .070 .307* -.122* -.023 .037 .035 .000 -.059 .003 26 -.085 -.033 .041 .016 .131* .115* -.046 .088 -.005 27 -.423* .079 -.078 .111* .050 -.017 -.001 .140* 28 -.020 -.036 .102* .086 .101* -.051 .223* 29 --.039 .092* .026 .153* -.025 .136* 30 --.003 -.044 -.011 .078 -.097* 31 --.068 .070 -.002 .121* 32 --.134* .113* .198* 33 --.130* -.008 34 -41 35 -.0 Note p <.05 122

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123 Table 4-21. Correlation matrix for variab les explaining at least 10% of the va riance in the dependent variable ( N = 487) Var. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 1 -.524* .567* .454* .359* .369* .316* .515* .498* .432* .488* .371* .230* .538* 2 -.449* .409* .273* .260* .239* .413* .324* .296* .345* .272* .239* .542* 3 -.416* .314* .246* .232* .328* .443* .358* .386* .323* .126* .496* 4 -.285* .283* .247* .384* .398* .521* .424* .296* .318* .439* 5 -.710* .645* .432* .289* .373* .232* .305* .154* .412* 6 -.813* .466* .283* .375* .286* .250* .157* .398* 7 -.484* .312* .418* .309* .239* .110* .349* 8 -.551* .544* .506* .318* .220* .451* 9 -.511* .520* .413* .120* .383* 10 -.462* .258* .261* .374* 11 -.465* .185* .430* 12 -.140* .473* 13 -.355* 14 Note *p<.05 Var. Variable Var. Variable 1 Attitude 8 Ability to keep land in its current use 2 Subjective norms 9 Perpetua l (forever) nature of CEs 3 Trust 10 Providing a sanctuary for wildlife 4 Conservation identity 11 Protection from future development 5 Receiving payment for CE 12 Sale/ donation of certain property rights 6 Estate tax deductions 13 Pe rceived conservation value 7 Property tax deductions 14 Behavior al intent (dependent variable)

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Objective Three Predict Conservation Easement Adoption To predict conservation easement adoption, tw o data analysis procedures were used: multiple linear regression and structural equa tion modeling. Prior to running the regression analysis, the assumptions associated with re gression, such as normality and homogeneity in variance, were verified. Multicollinearity was checked by individually regressing each independent variable onto the other variables to be placed in the model (A. Agresti, Department of Statistics Distinguished Professor Em eritus, personal communication, January 11, 2007; Lewis-Beck, 1980). R-square values greater th an 0.40 demonstrated multicollinearity between two variables. Those variables indicating multicollinearity were eliminated from the model if not essential in the context of the theory. In regr essing each independent variable onto the others individually, three variables were indicative of multicollinearity: (1) receiving a payment for the CE and estate tax deductions (R-square = .504) (2) estate tax deductions and property tax deductions (R-square = .660), and (3) receiv ing a payment for the CE and property tax deductions (R-square = .416). Given the high association between these three variables, each one was placed individually into the re gression model. Doing so allowed for analysis of the change in variance explained in the dependent variable. Controlling for the ot her variables in the model, the variable explaining the most variance in the depe ndent variable was kept in the analysis, which was estate tax deductions. Multiple Linear Regression The remaining variables from Table 4-21, aside from receiving a payment for the CE and property tax deductions, were then us ed in the regression model. To select the best fitting model, stepwise, forward and backward regression analyses were conducted (A. Agresti, Department of Statistics Distinguished Professor Emeritus, personal communication, March 6, 2007). All three 124

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techniques yielded the same results with six inde pendent variables being selected for the multiple regression model. These variab les included attitude, subjecti ve norms, trust, estate tax deductions, sale or donation of certain property rights, and perceived la nd conservation value. Participant demographics were then individually added and removed to recheck for changes in R-square, given other variables in the model. Co ntrolling for the other variables, each of the participant demographic items resulted in less than a one percent increase in R-square; although some were statistically significant in their relationship with the dependent variable ( p < 0.05). Thus, none of the demographic items (aside from perceived conservation value) were included in the regression model. Table 4-22 displays results of the final regression model. Table 4-22. Multiple linear regression to pred ict likelihood of engaging in a conservation easement agreement ( N = 487) Variable B SE T p Constant -2.673 0.196 -13.618 <0.001 Attitude 0.004 0.002 0.116 2.698 0.007 Subjective norms 0.021 0.003 0.250 6.535 <0.001 Trust 0.183 0.040 0.179 4.550 <0.001 Financial incentives 0.199 0.043 0.157 4.601 <0.001 Sale/donation of certain property rights 0.184 0.026 0.239 6.935 <0.001 Perceived conservation value 0.188 0.033 0.188 5.767 <0.001 The six variables collectively explained 52.9% of the variance in likelihood of engaging in a CE agreement (Adjusted R-square = 52.3%). The regression model demonstrates that respondents were more likely to enter into a CE agreement if they (a) had a more positive attitude about CEs, (b) perceived that influent ial others would positively support CEs, (c) had a higher level of trust toward organizations and agencies i nvolved with CE programs, (d) perceived their land as having a higher cons ervation value for Florida wildlife and water resources, (e) viewed the sale or donation of certain property ri ghts positively, and (f) viewed the provision of financial incentives, such as estate tax deductions, as a posi tive influence in their decision to enter into a CE agreement. Using th e standardized beta coefficients, a path model 125

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was constructed to illustrate the explanatory pow er of each antecedent and independent variable on the dependent variable. This model is displayed in Figure 4-1. 0.53 0.116 0.250 0.179 0.188 0.157 0.239 Subjective Norm Attitude Trust Financial Incentives Property Rights Perceived Land Conservation Value Behavioral Intent Figure 4-1. Path model illustrating direct effects of significant variables on behavioral intent to enter into a conservation easement agreement Structural Equation Modeling In addition to multiple linear regression, stru ctural equation modeling was used to examine the direct and indirect effects of variables in the model. The theory of reasoned action and the theory of planned behavior indicat e that ones attitude and subject ive norms are direct predictors of behavioral intent, while all other variable s in the model are antecedent to the main independent variables (attitude, subjective norms, and/or perceive d behavioral control). Use of structural equation modeling allowed for an analys is of how well the theory fit the data. Namely, structural equation modeling allowe d the researcher to analyze the direct and indir ect effects of the variables in the model. Given that perceive d behavioral control was not significantly related to the dependent variable in this study, however it was not included in the structural equation model. 126

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In designing the structural equation model acco rding to the theory of reasoned action and the theory of planned behavior, the statistics indicating model fit were not adequate. First, the chi-square statistic testing the model fit (with H0 indicating that the mode l chosen was adequate) was 197.742 (df = 8, p < 0.05). However, Hair, Anderson, Ta tham, and Black (1998) warn that An important criticism of the ch i-square measure is that it is too sensitive to sample size differences, especially for cases in which th e sample size exceeds 200 respondents (p. 655). Hair et al. (1998) warn that as the sample size increases the chi-square test statistic tends to indicate significant differences for equivalent models and that significant differences will be found for any specified model. Th erefore, three additional statis tics that were less sensitive to sample size were used to better address model f it: (1) the comparative f it index (CFI), (2) the Tucker-Lewis index (TLI), and (3) the root mean square erro r of approximation (RMSEA). The CFI and TLI statistics are recommended to be at least 0.9 out of a maxi mum of 1.0 (S. Colwell, Associate Professor, personal communicati on, September 23, 2008; Hair et al., 1998). The RMSEA statistic was also analyzed, which is considered as one of the most informative criteria in covariance structure modeling (Byrne, 2001). Browne and Cudeck (1993) stated that the RMSEA statistic should be equal to or less than 0.08 to represent reasonable errors or approximation in the population. The RMSEA sta tistic, as explained by Browne and Cudeck (1993), asks How well would the model, with unknown but optimally chosen parameter values, fit the population covariance matrix if it were available? (pp. 137-138) This discrepancy measured by the RMSEA is expressed via degrees of freedom and is sensitive to the complexity of the model. In fitting the model according to the theory of reasoned action and planned behavior (where the dependent variable is expl ained by the independent variables and antecedent 127

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variables provide indirect e ffects through the independent va riables), the CFI (0.794), TLI (0.459), and RMSEA (0.221) indicated that the original theoretical fit for this study was poor. With assistance from a specialist in factor structures in multi-level structural equation modeling at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada (Dr. Scott Colwell), the researcher redesigned the structural equation model to provi de the best fit with the data. This model is illustrated in Figure 4-2. Both the CFI (0.978) and TLI (0.941) were consistent in suggesting that the hypothesized model represented an adequate fit to the data. The RMSEA (0.073) also supported this finding. The chi-square statis tic testing the model fit was 28.595 (df = 8, p < 0.05). Although this statistic was much lower than that of the original model, the null hypothesis testing adequate model fit was still rejected. Howeve r, as Hair et al. (1993) stated, the chi-square statistic is sensitive to sample size, es pecially when the sample size exceeds 200. In Figure 4-2, the numbers next to each of the single-headed arrows represent standardized beta coefficients; those next to the doubleheaded arrows represen t correlations between variables; while those adjacent to the square and oval boxes represent the amount of variance explained in those variables (R-s quare values). Therefore, single-headed arrows represent impact of one variable on another, and double-headed arrows represent covariances or correlations between pairs of variables. Square boxes in Figure 4-2 illustrate observed variables. Observed variables were used given that observation may in clude, for example, self report responses to an attitudinal scale, which was the case in this st udy (Byrnes, 2001, p. 4). In structural equation modeling, observed variables represent the underlyi ng constructs they are presumed to represent. Oval variables represent latent variables, or those that were not measured directly but were explained via other variables in th e model. Circular shapes in Fi gure 4-2 represent error terms. 128

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Figure 4-2 illustrates that trust, financial in centives, and sale/donati on of certain property rights were all slightly correlated. The structural equation model also indicated that attitude and subjective norms were working together to explain an unmeasured phenomenon or latent variable (illustrated in Figure 4-2 as an oval shape). Given th at both individual and normative beliefs were explaining this latent variable, the researcher termed it Holistic CE Perspective. Thus, the structural equation model is indicating that an unmeasured underly ing attitude or belief is accounting for ones indivi dualistic and normative attitude which is providing a better prediction of behavioral intent. On es level of trust, perception of financial incentives, view of the sale or donation of certain property rights, and perceived land conserva tion value all provided indirect effects through the latent variable. Howe ver, both the sale/donati on of certain property rights variable and the perceived land conservation value variable had direct effects on the dependent variable as well. The error terms in subjective norms (labeled as e2) and attitude (labeled as e3) indicated the amount of varian ce that was not being m easured in the latent variable. Attitude explained 52% of the varian ce in the latent variable, while the remaining variance was in the error term. Subjective norms explained 32% of the variance in the latent variable. However, an additional 19% was explai ned in subjective norms through its relationship with the error term for the latent variable. This is indicative of a rela tionship between subjective norms and trust, financial incentiv es, sale/donation of certain pr operty rights, and perceived land conservation value. The variables in this model explained 54% of the va riance in behavioral intent to engage in a CE agreement. Lastly, Table 4-23 summarizes the variables in the structural equation model. Each of the paths from one variable to another in Figur e 4-2 was statistically significant. Table 4-24 illustrates the standardized indirect effects of va riables in the structural equation model. This 129

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130 table illustrates that a positive relationship exis ted between variables in the model. For example, as ones level of trust increased, so did their a ttitude about CEs, subjective normative beliefs, and their likelihood of enteri ng into a CE agreement. Finally, Table 4-25 summarizes the analysis of covariance results from the correlated variables in Figure 4-2. Trust, fi nancial incentives, and sale/donation of certain property rights were all significantly corre lated, as was the error term for subjective norms and for ones holistic CE perspective. Figure 4-2. Structural e quation model illustrating indirect and direct effects of significant variables on behavioral intent 0.20 0.21 0.30 0.60 0.16 0.12 Trust Financial Incentives Sale/Donation of Property Rights Perceived Land Conservation Value 0.32 0.25 0.25 0.43 e3 e4 e2 0.52 0.51 0.62 0.57 0 7 2 0.73 0.54 Behavioral Intent Holistic CE Perspective Attitude Subjective Norms e1

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Table 4-23. Structural equation model predicting likelihood to engage in a conservation easement agreement ( N = 487) Variable B SE t p Trust Holistic CE perspective 4.233 0.417 0.598 10.155 <0.001 Financial incentives Holistic CE perspective 2.618 0.405 0.298 6.466 <0.001 Sale/donation of property rights Holistic CE perspective 1.138 0.268 0.214 4.253 <0.001 Perceived land conservation value Holistic CE perspective 1.355 0.324 0.196 4.180 <0.001 Holistic CE perspective Attitude 2.657 0.215 0.724 12.339 <0.001 Holistic CE perspective Subjective norms 1.000 0.575 Holistic CE perspective Behavioral intent 0.087 0.008 0.618 10.259 <0.001 Sale/donation of property rights Behavioral intent 0.118 0.033 0.158 3.593 <0.001 Perceived land conservation value Behavioral intent 0.118 0.037 0.121 3.160 0.002 Table 4-24. Standardized indirect effect s in the structural equation model ( N = 487) Trust Financial incentives Sale/donation of property rights Perceived land conservation value Attitude 0.433 0.216 0.155 0.142 Subjective norms 0.344 0.171 0.123 0.113 Behavioral intent 0.370 0.184 0.132 0.121 Table 4-25. Analysis of covariance results from the structural equation model ( N = 487) B SE t p Trust Financial incentives 0.189 0.036 5.258 <0.001 Trust Sale/donation of property rights 0.410 0.061 6.770 <0.001 Financial incentives Sale/donation of property rights 0.256 0.048 5.356 <0.001 e2 e4 12.925 3.213 4.023 <0.001 Summary This chapter presented the study findings. The study response rate, reliability and item discrimination by instrument constr uct, factor analysis and constr uct validity were all described. Next, participants were described according to measured demographic characteristics (study objective one). A correlation matrix was then used to explore the relationships between the 131

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132 antecedent, independent, and dependent variable s used in the study (study objective two). Those variables explaining at least 10% of the variance were then used in a multiple regression model to predict behavioral intent (study objective three). The regr ession analysis revealed that individuals were more likely to enter into a CE agreement who (a) had a positive attitude about CEs, (b) perceived that influen tial others would positively support CE s, (c) had a higher level of trust towards organizations and ag encies involved with CE program s, (d) perceived their land as having a higher conservation value for Florida wildlife and water resources (e) viewed the sale or donation of certain property rights positively, and (f) viewed the provision of financial incentives, such as estate tax deductions, as a positive influence in their decision to enter into a CE agreement. Following regression analysis, st ructural equation modeling was used to gain a better understanding of the direct and indirect eff ect of variables in the model. Results of the structural equation model ar e displayed in Figure 4-2.

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CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS Introduction The purpose of this study was to predict Florida cattle rancher engagement in a conservation easement (CE) agreement. Specifically, this study examined the applicability of the theory of planned behavior as well as trust, pa st behavior, environmental identity (broken into two parts: nature identity and conservation identity), ones perception of specific CE characteristics, and selected demographic informa tion in predicting behavior al intent to engage in a CE agreement. This study was chosen to help fill the rese arch gap of studies examining or testing behavioral theories in the area of land c onservation. Given that (a) over 70 conservation organizations and agencies are dedicating th eir efforts toward CE adoption in Florida (Conservation Trust for Florida, 2007), (b) Florid a is continually listed as one of the fastest growing states in the nation (M ain et al., 2003; U.S. Census Bu reau, 2006), and (c) the states adoption rate of land conservation programs falls below the national average (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2006), there was a need to better understand which key factors would predict the likelihood of entering into a CE ag reement in Florida specifically. Florida cattle ranchers were chosen as the target audience for this study as (a ) their ranches comprise over half of the total farmland in the state (Veneman et al., 2004), a nd (b) they are among the top pursued audiences for CE programs delivered by conservation organi zations and agencies in Florida (B. Shires, Conservation Trust for Florida, pers onal communication, February 23, 2007). Objectives Three objectives guided this study, which were: 1. Describe participants in terms of se lected demographic characteristics. 133

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2. Identify the relationship betw een selected demographic characteristics and environmental identity, trust, past behavior, perception of specific CE characteristics, attitudes, subjective normative beliefs, perceived be havioral control and behavioral intent. 3. Predict CE adoption using participant demographics, environmental identity, trust, past behavior, perception of specific CE characte ristics, attitudes, subjective normative beliefs, and/or perceived behavioral control. Research Hypotheses Four hypotheses were developed for this study fo llowing review of av ailable literature on land conservation behavior and on the use of the theory of planned behavior in conservationrelated studies: 1. Higher levels of environmental identity will lead to a greater like lihood of entering into a CE agreement. 2. Higher (more positive) ratings of CE characteri stics will result in a greater likelihood of entering into a CE agreement. 3. A higher level of trust will lead to an increased likelihood of entering into a CE agreement. 4. Attitude, subjective normative beliefs, and percei ved behavioral control (the theory of planned behavior variables) wi ll explain the greatest degr ee of variance in behavioral intent. Summary of Methods This study used a nonexperimental descriptive survey research design in which multiple linear regression and structural e quation modeling were applied to predict behavioral intent to engage in a CE agreement. The studys populati on frame consisted of 2,700 cattle ranchers who were members of Florida Farm Bureau. From this population frame, ranchers were stratified into four groupings according to projected county population increase between 2008 and 2012 (Florida Trend, 2008). Following st ratification into the four gr oups, 250 ranchers were randomly selected for the final sample in each group using a random numbers table. This resulted in a total sample size of 1,000 Florida cattle ranchers. 134

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Prior to administering the survey instrume nt, six semi-structured survey development interviews were conducted following a constructivi st theoretical perspective. The interviews took place with three types of ranchers: those who ha d already entered into a CE agreement, those who were in the process of entering into a CE agreement, and t hose who were not interested in entering into a CE agreement. The survey deve lopment interviews provided insight into the variables to be used in this st udy, including (a) attitudes toward en tering into a CE agreement, (b) beliefs regarding influences of important others (including family, friends, fellow cattle ranchers, extension agents, and government) on the (hypothetical) decision to enter into a CE agreement (including who these important others may be), (c) perceived behavioral control in entering into a CE agreement, and (d) antecedent variab lesnamely potentially influential demographic information. The interview results were transcribed verbatim and themes were extracted from the data using inductive analysis (Coffe y & Atkinson, 1996; Hatch, 2003). Th is type of analysis involved (1) reading the data to identif y broad frames of analysis, (2) creating domains based on relationships among the data, (3 )identifying salient domains, (4 ) refining salient domains once the data has been reread, and (5) supporting each domain with raw data (Hatch, 2003) Following the survey development interviews, the quantitative survey instrument was designed in accordance to Ajzens (2006b) reco mmendations for constructing a theory of planned behavior questionnaire. Th e instrument was then evaluated for face and content validity by a panel of 12 experts consisting of university faculty, graduate students and staff in the Department of Agricultural Education and Co mmunication, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, School of Forest Resources a nd Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, The Conservation Trust for Florida, and Florida Farm Bureau. 135

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Once the survey instrument was evaluated by the panel of experts, it underwent a twophase pilot study. In phase one, three cattle ranc hers, all with differing viewpoints of CEs, reanalyzed the questionnaire for face and c ontent validity. During phase two, 17 ranchers completed the questionnaire and the results were used to determine estimates of instrument validity, reliability, and sensitivity. Following revisions made from results of th e two-phase pilot study, the mail survey was administered to 1,000 cattle ranchers using Dillmans (2007) tailored design method. This included a (a) personalized prenotice letter, (b) personalized cover lett er, survey instrument, incentive, and business reply e nvelope, (c) thank you/reminder postcard, and (d ) personalized letter to nonrespondents and a replacement questionnaire. Using Dillmans (2007) tailored design method, the researcher received a 60.2% response rate with 517 usable surveys (the additiona l 85 surveys were deemed unusable due to item nonresponse). Missing data within the 517 usable surveys was imputed using the expectationmaximization function. Thereafter, early to late respondents were compared using successive questionnaire waves. The first wave included those that responded following receipt of the initial survey, the second wave included those that responded following the thank you/reminder postcard, and the third wave included thos e that responded following the letter to nonrespondents. No significant difference existed between early and late responders on their responses to the dependent variable ( t = -0.527, df = 260, p = 0.599). Reliability within each of th e constructs in the survey in strument was measured using Chronbachs alpha during both the pilot and fina l study. Principle compon ent factor analysis with a Promax oblique rotation was then used in the final study to reduce the data prior to running the multiple linear regression analysis a nd the structural equatio n model. Participant 136

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demographics were described using frequencies, percents, means and standard deviations (study objective one). Next, a correlation matrix was developed also prior to running the multiple linear regression model and structural equation model to examine relationships among independent and antecedent variables and the dependent variable (study objective two). The correlation matrix also allowed for analysis of multicollinearity among antecedent and independent variables. Finally, multiple linear regression and structur al equation modeling were applied to the remaining variables that were significantly correl ated with the dependent variable in order to predict behavioral intent to engage in a CE agreement (study objective three). Summary of Findings Objective One: Describe Participants in Terms of Selected Demographic Characteristics A total of 517 usable questionnaires were obtained from the sample of 1,000 cattle ranchers. Of the 517 respondents, 30 indicated that they had alrea dy entered into a CE agreement or were in the process of doings so. As a re sult, 487 questionnaires were analyzed in the correlation matrix, multiple linear regression model, and structural equation model to predict the likelihood of entering into a CE ag reement. However, all 517 usable questionnaires were utilized to describe participant demographics. The majority of respondents in this study were males that were approximately 61 years of age. The youngest respondent was 21 and the oldest was 99. The mean number of children respondents had was two, with the minimum numb er of children being zero and the maximum being eight. The mean level of education attained was a two year degree. However, the highest number of respondents had either a high school degree/graduate eq uivalency diploma, or a four year college Bachelors degree. The average ranch size reported by respondents was 100-299 acres, however, ranch size ranged from 1-49 acres to over 10,000 acres. When asked about ownership type, most 137

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respondents selected individual ownership as the best type that fit their situation, while the second most popular selection was co-ownership. Th e majority of respondents indicated that in the future, their ranch would likely be inherited by a family member. Only a select number of respondents indicated that their la nd would be sold to development, and very few indicated that their land would likely be sold or donate d to a conservation organization/agency. Approximately one-third of respondents indica ted that their ranch was near (within 10 miles) a preserved parcel of la nd. When asked how close their ranc h was to a parcel of land that was being converted to urban development, how ever, over 50% of respondents indicated that their ranch was located five miles or less from such a parcel. This statistic is likely related to the above-average development pressures in Florid a (Main et al., 2003; U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). The range of proximity to urban development was between zero and 70 miles, with the mean proximity being eight miles. When asked to rate the conservation value of their land to Florida wildlife and water resources, the highest number of respondents fe lt it was average. The ma jority of remaining respondents felt that the conservation value of th eir land was either moderately or extremely high. Only a few respondents indicated that the conservation value of their ranch was below average. Mean use of Extension among respondents was once a year. This statistic indicates that not only is Extensions involvement with land conservation low (J. Dusky, Associate Dean of Agricultural Programs, personal communi cation, September 14, 2007), but that the communication network between ranchers and Extension agents throughout the state is also low. 138

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Next, when asked whether respondents had re cently served a leadership role for the Cattlemens Association, the vast majority had not Most respondents also were not members of any local, state, or national conservation groups. Regarding CEs in particular, average familia rity with the term conservation easement was somewhat familiar. Only seventy respond ents were very familiar with the term conservation easement, 30 of which had already en tered into a CE agreement or were in the process of doing so. Objective Two: Identify the Relationship between Anteceden t and Independent Variables and the Dependent Variable Given the large sample size in this study, almo st all variables in the correlation matrix were listed as statistically significant in their relation to the dependent variable. However, in considering the practical signifi cance of the relationships, only 13 variables of the original 35 remained in the correlation matrix, each of which explained at least 10% of the variance in behavioral intent. Of the remain ing 13 variables in the correlati on matrix, attitude and subjective norms indicated the strongest influence on the dependent variable. This provided partial support for the theory of planned behavior. The theory of planned behavior postula tes that, intentions to perform behaviors of different kinds can be pr edicted with high accuracy from attitudes toward the behavior, subjective norms, and perceive d behavioral control (Ajzen, 1991, p. 179). Although both attitudes and subjective norms were strongly correlated to the dependent variable in this study, however, perceived behavioral control was not (R-square = 0.029). The lack of relationship between perceived behavioral control and the depende nt variable was likely due to two factors: (1) low-moderate participant familiarity with the term conservation easement, and (2) a strong influence of participant trust on the dependent variable. Ajzen (1985; 1991) stated that the perceived be havioral control variable may not be realistic if respondents 139

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have little information about the targeted behavior. Despite the inclusion of a descriptive paragraph about CEs in the questionnaire, low participant familiarity with CEs could have contributed to the lack of relationship between perceived behavioral control and behavioral intent. In addition to participant attitude, subject ive norms, and trust, the correlation matrix indicated a significant positive relationship between the following variables and the dependent variable: conservation identity, receiving a payment for the CE, es tate tax deductions, property tax deductions, ability to keep land in its current use, pe rpetual (forever) nature of CEs, providing a sanctuary for wildlife protection from future devel opment, sale/donation of certain property rights, and perceived conservation value of the land. Three of these remaining variables (receiving a payment for the CE, estate ta x deductions, and property tax deductions) demonstrated multicollinearity. As a result, each one was individually placed in the regression model with the other variables. Of these three variables, the one that resulted in the biggest increase in R-square with its addition was kept in the model, which was estate tax deductions. Objective Three: Predict Conservation Easement Adoption To predict CE adoption among Florida cattle ra nchers, both multiple linear regression and structural equation modeling were used. Both mu ltiple linear regression and structural equation modeling revealed that participants were more likel y to enter into a CE agreement if they (a) had a positive attitude about CEs, (b ) perceived that influential ot hers would positively support CEs, (c) had a higher level of trust toward CE progr ams and the organizations and agencies delivering these programs, (d) viewed the pr ovision of financial incentives (namely estate tax deductions) as a positive influence, (e) viewed the sale/dona tion of certain property ri ghts (i.e. development rights) as a positive influence, and (f) perceive d their ranch as having a high conservation value for Florida wildlife and water resources. Using th e standardized beta coefficients, the most 140

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influential variables in the regression model we re subjective norms and ones positive perception of either selling or donating certain property rights. Altogether, these six variables explained 53% of the variance in ones behavioral intent to enter into a CE agreement. In running a structural equation model to an alyze the direct and indirect effects of independent and antecedent variables in the mode l, the model fit indicated that attitude and subjective norms were working together to explain a latent variable. The researcher termed this variable holistic CE perspective given that it included both indivi dualistic and normative attitudes about CEs. Trust, financial incentives (namely estate tax deductions), the sale or donation of certain property right s, and perceived land conservati on value all provided indirect effects through ones holistic CE perspective to behavioral intent. Trust provided the strongest indirect effect into the depende nt variable, with a standardized beta co efficient of 0.37. The structural equation model showed that ones holistic CE pers pective (consisting of individualistic and normative attitu des) was the most influential variable with a standardized direct effect of 0.62. In addition to providing indirect effects, pe rception of the sale/donation of certain property rights as well as perceived land conservation valu e also provided direct effects on the dependent variable (with standardized beta coefficients of 0.16 and 0.12, respectively). The total standardized effect of ones perception of the sale or donation of certain property rights on the dependent variable was 0.29, while the total standardized effect of ones perceived land conservation value was 0.24. The variables in the structural equation mode l explained 54% of the variance in ones behavioral intent to enter into a CE agreement. Research Hypothesis One This hypothesis predicted that higher levels of environmental identity would lead to a greater likelihood of entering into a CE agreement. Factor analysis results indicated that the scale used to measure environmental identity was in fa ct measuring two constructs. The first construct 141

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concerned nature identity while the second concerned conservation identity. The correlation matrix showed that while both variables were indeed positively related to the dependent variable, only conservation identity explai ned at least 10% of the vari ance in this variable. When conservation identity was placed in the regression model with the other variables selected, however, it was no longer sign ificantly related to the dependent variable and did not contribute to the variance explained in behavioral intent. Research Hypothesis Two The second research hypothesis predicted th at higher (more positive) ratings of CE characteristics would result in a greater like lihood of entering into a CE agreement. The correlation matrix demonstrated that all variab les were significantly related to the dependent variable, and the relationships were all positive. However, only eight of the 10 characteristics in the correlation matrix explained at least 10% of the variance in th e dependent variable (all aside from paying legal fees and the potential reduction in property value). The correlation matrix also indicated, however, that the th ree variables concerning financia l incentives (receiving a payment for the CE, estate tax deductions, and property ta x deductions) were all highly correlated, which was confirmed by regressing each variable onto the others and analyzing th e significance of the relationship between the variables. When placed in the regression model with the other variables, estate tax deduction explained the most variance in R-square and was kept in the model. The regression model demonstrated that when controlling for the other variab les in the model, the relationship between ability to k eep land in its current use, perp etual (forever) nature of CEs, providing a sanctuary for wildli fe, protection from future development and the dependent variable was no longer significant. Therefore, the characteristics that le d to a greater likelihood of entering into a CE agreement, controlling for other variables in the model, were (a) financial incentives (namely estate tax deductions) and (b) the sale or donation of certain property rights. 142

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Research Hypothesis Three The third hypothesis predicted that as ones level of trust increased, so would their behavioral intent to enter into a CE agreem ent. This study found that trust in CEs and the organizations and agencies delivering CEs was significantly positively related to the dependent variable in all three analyses: the correlation matrix, regression model, and structural equation model. The standardized beta coefficients in th e regression model illustra ted that given the other variables in the model, for each one-unit increase in ones level of trust, their likelihood of entering into a CE agreement increased by 0.179. Th e regression model indicated that level of trust was more influential than ones attitude about CEs or their perception of the financial incentives involved (namely esta te tax deductions). The struct ural equation model, however, demonstrated that the effect of trust on the de pendent variable was indirect, through the latent variable of ones holistic CE perspective (explained by ones individualistic and normative attitude). This finding partially supports the theory of planned behavior, where trust was antecedent to the independent variables of attitude and subjective norms. In the structural equation model, the standardized indirect effect of trust on (a) attitude was 0.433, (b) subjective norms was 0.344, and (c) behavioral intent was 0.370. Research Hypothesis Four The final research hypothesis pr edicted that the theory of pl anned behavior variables of attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavior al control would explai n the greatest variance in behavioral intent to enter into a CE agreem ent. This study found that while both attitude and subjective norms were significant predictors of be havioral intent, perceived behavioral control was not. Regression analysis dem onstrated that controlling for other variables in the model, subjective norms provided the strongest influence on behavioral intent wh ile attitude provided the weakest influence. The structural equati on model indicated, however, that attitude and 143

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subjective norms were working together to expl ain a latent variable, which again was termed holistic CE perspective. This latent variable, explained by attitude and subjective norms, had the strongest influence on behavioral intent. Conclusions 1. Most respondents to this study were males in their late 50s and early 60s with an average education level of a two year degree and an average of two children. The mean ranch size was between 100 and 299 acres and mean years of family ownership were 47. The majority indicated individual ownership as their ranch ownership type a nd the majority also indicated that their ranch would likely be inherited by a family member when they finish ranching. Most respondents stated that th eir ranch was within 10 miles bo th of a preserved parcel of land and of a parcel of land that was being c onverted into urban development. Almost all respondents indicated that the c onservation value of their land was at least average in its contribution to Florida wildlife and water res ources. Regarding Extens ion, the majority of respondents used this service once a year or less. Few respondents ha d either previously attended a CE workshop or seminar or ha d approached/been approached by a CE organization or agency about entering into a CE agreement. Lastly, most respondents had not recently served a leadership role for the Catt lemens Association and were not members of any conservation groups. 2. As the theory of planned behavior suggests, attitude and subjective norms were significant predictors of behavioral intent, given other va riables in the model. This prediction was such that: a. As respondents attitude about the outcomes of entering into a CE agreement became favorable, so did their likelihood of entering into a CE agreement. b. If respondents perceived that in fluential neighbors, other catt le ranchers, and/or family would positively support CEs, they were more likely to enter into a CE agreement. 3. Unlike the theory of planned behavior suggests, the structural equati on model in this study demonstrated that given other variables in the model, the influence of attitude and subjective norms on the dependent variable was interrela ted. The relationship was such that ones individualistic (attitude) and normative (subjectiv e norms) attitude were working together to predict a latent variable. This variable was termed holistic CE perspective as it included both individualistic and normative attitudes. This latent variable was a strong predictor of behavioral intent. 4. Among this demographic, perceived behavioral control was not a sign ificant predictor of behavioral intent to enter into a CE agreement. 5. In addition to attitude and s ubjective norms, four variables ex plained a significant amount of the variance in behavioral intent to enter into a CE agreement: trust, financial incentives (namely estate tax deductions), perception of th e sale or donation of certain property rights, 144

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and perceived land conservation value. The rela tionship was such that given other variables in the model: a. As respondents level of trust in programs like CEs and the organizations and agencies delivering CE programs increased, so did their likelihood of entering into a CE agreement. b. If respondents perceived the provision of financial incen tives, namely estate tax deductions, as a positive influence on the hypothetical decision to enter into a CE agreement, they were more likely to enter into a CE agreement. c. If respondents perceived the sa le or donation of certain property rights (i.e. development rights) as a positive influence, they were mo re likely to enter into a CE agreement. d. If participants viewed thei r land as having a significant c onservation value for Florida wildlife and water resources, they were more likely to enter into a CE agreement. 6. Level of trust in CEs and the organization or agencies delivering such programs, perception of the financial incentives involved (namely esta te tax deductions), and perception of the sale or donation of certain property rights were all positively correlated in the structural equation model. 7. Given other variables in the model, conserva tion identity, previous attendance at a CE workshop or seminar, past inquiry/having been approached about enteri ng into a CE, ability to keep land in its current use, the perpetual nature of CEs, providing a sanctuary for wildlife, and protection from future development were no t significant predictors of ones behavioral intent to enter into a CE agreement. However, these variables independently (ignoring other variables in the model) explained at least 10% of the variance in behavioral intent. 8. The following additional variables in this study we re not significant predictors of behavioral intent to enter into a CE agreement: perceive d behavioral control, nature identity, paying legal fees, potential reduction in property valu e, familiarity with CEs, use of Extension, serving a leadership role for the Cattleme ns Association, conservation group membership, number of children, family ownership of the ra nch in years, likely future of the ranch, ownership type, ranch size, age, sex, education, proximity to a preserved parcel, proximity to a parcel that is being converted into urba n development, and proj ected county growth. Discussion and Implications Objective One: Describe Participants in Terms of Selected Demographic Information While this studys population consisted of Flor ida cattle ranchers w ho were members of Florida Farm Bureau, participan t demographics closely matched available statewide information for all Florida farms and ranches. Specificall y, participants of this study closely matched 145

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available statewide information collected via th e National Agricultural St atistics Service (2007) and the Florida Farm Bill (Clouser, 2006a) on average age, sex, farm size, and education level. The amount of advice sought from the local Exte nsion service by partic ipants in this study was low. In a separate study with beef cattle pr oducers in Northwest Florida who were Extension clientele, Vergot et al. (2005) found that participants consulted other cattle producers and county Extension agents for sources of information above all other options (such as veterinarians and university specialists). In this study, however, most participants i ndicated that they sought advice from Extension either never or once a year. While an additional 25% sought advice from Extension quarterly, only 11% used this servi ce either monthly or w eekly. Two participants indicated on their questionnaires that they would use their local Extension service if it provided a livestock agent; the available expertise, however did not match their needs. The limited use of Extension by participants in this study comb ined with the limited involvement of Florida Extension with land conservation is low is likely serving as a barrier to CE adoption. Research has shown that if provided with the necessary in formation, Extension agents can help reduce the perceived risks associated with land conserva tion and increase the number of farm operators considering change (Lambert et al., 2006). Regarding conservation easements specificall y, most participants (a) were not very familiar with the term, (b) had not attended a CE workshop or seminar, (c) had not previously approached or been approached by a CE orga nization or agency about entering into a CE agreement, and (d) had a relativel y low level of trust in CEs a nd the groups administering such programs. The moderate-to-low level of familiari ty with CEs combined with the few amount of people who have attended a past workshop/semina r in this study rela tes to other CE study findings where participants have described CEs as complicated, confusing, unclear, and lacking 146

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in information (Daniels, 1991; Marshall et al ., 2000; Mashour, 2004; Rilla & Sokolow, 2000; Wright, 1994). This confusion was demonstrated, for example, in the comments section of a Florida landowner survey regard ing perceptions of CEs, where 13% of the comments concerned requests for more information about the entire easement process and what it entailed (Mashour, 2004). The knowledge-deficit model of behavior ch ange (Schultz, 2002) i ndicates that while information alone does not lead to behavior chan ge, a lack of information can serve as a major barrier to change. One participan t in this study who had attended a CE workshop/seminar stated I attended a CE training and found the process ve ry complicated and non-specific. I left with more questions than I had when I entered. I plan to attend another if I can get more information, but have been unsuccessful thus far, after seve ral calls (Appendix O). Th is indicates that, at least for some, accessibility to information and achieving understanding/clarity about CEs are serving as barriers to CE adoption. Regarding ones level of trust in CE pr ograms and the organizations and agencies delivering such programs, participant scores were low. In addition, many of the open-ended comments in the questionnaires for this study concerned a lack of trust in government, conservation groups, and CE programs. Participants stated, for example, th at they do not trust government agencies to be fair about control of land (Appendix O). This lack of trust is supported in previous literatu re, where landowners have indicated a reluctance to enter negotiations with the federal government or a ny powerful state agencies with regulatory authority (Main et al., 2000). Als o, several other conservation-rela ted studies have demonstrated that landowners have a high level of mistrust toward the govern ment (Mashour, 2004; Monroe et al., 2003; Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2003a; Rilla & Sokolow, 2000). Lastly, 147

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Pannell et al. (2006) stated that trust in the organizations advocating CEs was a major factor effecting landowners CE adoption decision. Despite the finding that trust was such a large influence on ranchers behavioral intent to engage in a CE agreement in this study, issues concerning the intentions and integrity of land conservation agencies/organizations were not addr essed in any of the Florida CE workshops the researcher has attended. In addi tion, although testimonials were prov ided by cattle ranchers who had adopted CEs to increase participant trust at these workshops, the testimonials focused primarily on the desire of these ranchers to prot ect wildlife and the envi ronment. However, this study found that providing a sanctuary for wild life and environmental identity were not significant influencers on behavioral intent to enga ge in a CE agreement. To break down some of the barriers to entering into a CE agreement, transparent information should be provided to Florida cattle ranchers that (a) relates to their primary needs and (b) addresses not only what the CE process entails but also th e intentions and inte grity of the organizations and agencies delivering such programs. Objective Two: Identify the Relationship between Anteceden t and Independent Variables and the Dependent Variable The correlation matrix designed for this study indicated that although ones attitude and subjective normative belief independently explaine d at least 10% of the va riance in behavioral intent, perceived behavioral co ntrol did not. The perceived beha vioral control variable was designed using previous land cons ervation literature and the survey-development interview data. Perceived behavioral control cons isted of the following characteristic s: control, risk, restrictions, requirements, time, energy, and complications in the process. This variable was calculated and analyzed in the correlation ma trix using Ajzens (1991) recommendations. To analyze whether a potential error or bias had occurred in the calcula tion of this variable, the researcher also checked 148

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whether individual items within pe rceived behavioral control were significantly correlated with the dependent variable or whether a summated scal e would provide a differe nt outcome. None of the analyses resulted in this variable (or its s ub-items) explaining at leas t 10% of the variance in behavioral intent. Again, the lack of influe nce by perceived behavi oral control could be explained by participant lack of familiarity with CEs. As previously mentioned, in cases where participants are lacking informa tion about the target behavior, Ajzen (1985; 1991) stated that perceived behavioral control may not provide a realistic measurem ent. Supporting this hypothesis, many other studies on CEs have f ound that landowners perceive this land conservation tool as very confusing, lacking in information, complicated, and time consuming (Daniels, 1991; Marshall et al., 2000; Mashour 2004; Rilla & Sokolow, 2000; Wright, 1994). However, the lack of association between pe rceived behavioral control and behavioral intent may also lie in the measurement of perceived behavioral control as perceived controllability over the behavior as opposed to self-efficacy (Bandura, 1994). In a meta-analytic review of studies using both self-efficacy and pe rceived behavioral control in the theory of planned behavior, the relationship between self-e fficacy and behavioral intent was consistently strong, whereas the relationship be tween perceived behavioral cont rol and behavioral intent was inconsistent in strength (Conner & Armitage, 1998). The correlation matrix also indicated that while conservation identity independently explained at least 10% of the variance in behavi oral intent, nature iden tity did not. To measure environmental identity (which split into the tw o factors of nature id entity and conservation identity), the researcher had abbreviated and slightly altered Clayt on and Opotows (2003) environmental identity scale. While ranchers in this study averaged very high in their nature identity score, the mean score for conserva tion identity was much lower. Relating to 149

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conservation identity, in the comments section of the questionnaire (Appendix O) one rancher wrote I am a conservationist but not a wild eyed environmentali st. I believe natures resources are for our use but not abuse. Anot her stated This is the most ridi culous thing Ive heard of in a long time. There is such thing as too much of a good thing. The EPA, environmentalists, animal rights, tree huggers, greenies will be the downfall of the U.S. A. These comments support the quantitative findings of this st udy where conservation identity scores were on average much lower and more varied than participant scores fo r nature identity. Also, unlike nature identity, conservation identity explained at least 10% of the variance in behavioral intent. Given this finding, further research is needed on (a) th e design of environmental identity-type scales targeted for farmers and ranchers specifically, and (b) the influence of conservation identity on farmers and ranchers la nd conservation behavior. This study also demonstrated th at related past behavior was not a significan t predictor of behavioral intent. Past beha vior was measured by asking respondents whether they had previously (a) approached or had been approach ed by a conservation entity about entering into a CE agreement and/or (b) attended a CE works hop or seminar. Both the correlation matrix and regression model indicated that the relationship between these items and the dependent variable was statistically significant and positive. Howeve r, neither item explained at least 10% of the variance in R-square or contri buted to the variance explained in R-square in the regression analysis, given the other variab les in the model. Although not pr actically significant, the finding of a positive association between past attendance at a CE workshop and behavioral intent to engage in a CE agreement contradicts Mashours (2004) results with Florida landowners, where respondents who had previously attended a volunta ry Florida Forestry Association CE workshop were the least likely to enter into a CE agreement. 150

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Next, the correlation matrix demonstrated that ones perception of paying legal fees and the potential reduction in property value did not explain at least 10% of the variance in behavioral intent. The lack of in fluence of these variables could be explained in part given that familiarity with CEs was relatively low. As a result, ranchers might not have understood the nature of legal fees involved with entering into a CE agreemen t and consequently did not view having to pay legal fees as a nega tive influence (in fact, several ra nchers rated this as a positive influence). Regarding the potential reduction in property value, the qualitative interviews for this study indicated that ranchers had differing opinio ns as to whether thei r property would actually decrease in value. This range in opinion may have contributed to a lack of significance between the potential reduction in property value and the dependent variable. This hypothesis was supported in part by the qualitati ve interviews for this study, wh ere ranchers had opposing views as to whether their property value would decrease with a CE on the land. Despite the lack of relationship between payi ng legal fees, the potenti al reduction in ones property value and the dependent variable, the rema ining eight CE characteristics were all highly correlated with the dependent variab le in the correlation matrix. First, each of the three financial incentives measured (receiving a payment for the CE, estate tax deduction s, and property tax deductions) individually explained over 10% of the variance in behavioral intent. The influence of financial incentives is suppor ted in several other studies concerning CEs, where they have been recognized by landowners as one of the to p perceived benefits to CE adoption (Byers & Marchetti Ponte, 2005; Feather & Bernard, 2003 ; Huntsinger & Hopkinson, 1996; Main et al., 2003; Mashour, 2004; Wright, 1993). The other CE characteristics that also individu ally explained at least 10% of the variance in behavioral intent included ability to keep land in its current use, the perpetual nature of CEs, 151

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providing a sanctuary for wildlife protection from future devel opment, and the sale/donation of certain property rights. These variables were all positively associated with the dependent variable. Regarding the ability to keep land in its current use and pr otection from future development, these findings are supported in at least five additional st udies concerning CEs, where ability to keep land in its current use and protection from urban development were previously identified as top pe rceived benefits of CEs (Main et al., 2003; Marshall et al., 2000; Mashour, 2004; Small, 1998; Wright, 1993). Given that protection from urban development has been identified in several studies as a key benefit of CEs, it is not surprising that the sale or donation of certain property rights, namely deve lopment rights, was also significantly positively correlated with the dependent va riable. Next, the perpetual nature of CEs was also found as positive benefit by both Mashour (2004) and Ri lla and Sokolow (2000). Lastly, regarding providing a sanctuary for wildlife Wright (1993) identified protecting habitat as among the top factor helping landowners meet personal goals for adopting a CE. Familiarity with the term conservation easement was not a significant predictor of behavioral intent to enter into a CE agreement. On average, participants were somewhat familiar with the term, but few were very familiar. Given th at few participants were very familiar with the term conservation easement, it is likely that participant familiarity with the process of entering into a CE agreement and what such an agr eement would entail is even lower among this demographic. Again, this relates to the knowle dge-deficit model, where although information alone is usually not enough to e voke change, a lack of informati on could serve as a major barrier to behavior change (Schultz, 2002). Use of extension was not a significant influen ce on behavioral intent to enter into a CE agreement. However, in a nationwide study with farmers and ranchers, Lambert et al. (2006) 152

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found that the amount of Extension consulti ng advice received by farms was a significant positive predictor on whether farmers and ranchers adopted conservation practices. The lack of relationship in this study between use of Extension and behavioral intent to engage in a CE agreement is most likely due Fl orida Extensions lack of i nvolvement in land conservation programs (J. Dusky, Associate Dean of Ag ricultural Programs, personal communication, September 14, 2007). The remaining demographic information in the correlation matrix did not explain at least 10% of the variance in behavioral intent to engage in a CE agreement. However, Nickerson and Lynch (2001) found that landowners with (a) large pa rcels of land, (b) parcels that were closer to preserved parcels, and (c) parcel s that were further from urban development, were significantly more likely to enroll in preservation programs. Lambert et al. (2006) also found that land size, farm proximity to a water body and location on e nvironmentally sensitive land were positively correlated with the number of c onservation activities practiced by that farm. However, this study found no significant relationship betw een land size, proximity to a pr eserved parcel, proximity to urban development and behavioral intent to engage in a CE agreement. In a study with Florida landowners, Mashour (2004) identified a significant negative relationship between participant age and perceptions of CEs, while education, gender, income, and acreage were positively associ ated. However, this study demons trated a lack of contribution of these variables to behavioral intent. This st udy indicates that among Fl orida cattle ranchers, demographic information such as level of educ ation, age, sex, income, land size, number of children, ownership of the ranch in years, ownership type, pr oximity to urban development or a preserved parcel of land, and likely future of the ranch are not significant predictors of behavioral intent to engage in a CE agreement. 153

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Objective Three: Predict Engagement in a Conservation Easement Agreement This study was the first of its kind using the th eory of planned behavior to predict adoption of CE programs. Few studies have applied the theory of planned behavior to investigate any type of conservation behavior among farmers and ranchers. Those that exist have concerned either water irrigation (Lynne et al., 1995) or wildlife conservation-related beliefs (Beedell & Rehman, 2000). The multiple linear regression and structural equation modeling results of this study suggest that ranchers are more likely to enter into CE agreemen ts if they (a) had a positive attitude about the outcomes associated with CE s, (b) felt influential others, namely neighbors, other cattle ranchers, and family, would positiv ely support CEs, (c) indi cated higher trust in conservation organizations/agencies, (d) believed their land had significan t conservation value, (e) supported the sale/donation of certain prope rty rights, and (f) were positively influenced by financial incentives, primarily estate tax deductions. The fact that attitude and subjective norms in the theory of planned behavior were significant predictors of behavior al intent to engage in a CE agreement partially supports the theory of planned behavior model. The structural equation model demonstrated, however, that attitude and subjective norms were working toge ther to predict a latent variable, which was termed holistic CE perspective. This latent variable is believed to represent an underlying attitude or belief that encompasses ones specific individual and normative attitude about CEs. Several other studies have found collinearit y issues between th e subjective normative construct and attitudinal constr uct of the theory of planned behavior (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993). As an example, in a study using structural equation modeling with the theory of planned behavior to predict a set of eco logical behaviors among 895 Swiss re sidents, Kaiser and Gutscher (2003) found that attitude and subj ective norms were considerably co rrelated with one another in 154

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both general ( r = 0.68) and specific ( r = 0.67) behavioral contexts. Although the correlation analysis in this CE study indi cated that the R-square value between attitudes and subjective norms was less than 0.40 (r = 0.524), the statistics in the structural equati on model testing model fit were not adequate until thes e two observed variables were placed together to measure a latent variable, thus demonstrating col linearity between them. Therefore, controlli ng for other variables in the model, ones individual and normative attit udes were not isolated predictors of behavioral intent to engage in a CE agreement. Instead, th ey were interconnected in their measurement of behavioral intent through the latent vari able termed holistic CE perspective. The structural equation model also demonstrated a significant standardized indirect effect of participant trust on attitude, subjective norms, and behavioral in tent. This finding relates to a separate study applying structur al equation modeling to the theo ry of planned behavior. In predicting acquisition of information about green electricity products and the local provider of the products among 380 German Univ ersity students, Bamberg (2003) discovered that general attitudes, such as environmental concern, were important indirect determinants of both behavioral intent and behavior. Ag ain, in this study the more genera l attitude of participant trust also provided a significant indirect effect to specific attitudes about CE outcomes, subjective norms, and behavioral intent to en gage in a specific behavior. Furthermore, the structural equation model illustrated that participant trust was correlated to cattle ranchers perception of specific financial incentives (n amely estate tax deductions) and their perception of the sale or dona tion of certain property rights. Th is indicates that participants with higher levels of trust in CE programs and the groups administering such programs are also more likely to perceive the provision of fina ncial incentives and the sale/donation of certain property rights positively. 155

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Similarly, this study demonstrated that participants with higher levels of trust are also more likely to have positive attitudes about the outcomes associated with entering into a CE agreement and to perceive that influential others would positively support CEs. The strong influence of a general attitude such as trust on several variables in the structural equation model relates to Rogers (2003) explanation that adoption of conservation practices and programs depends partially on existing values. In addition, Rogers (2003) discussion about the five characteristics of an innovation to help explain different rates of behavioral e ngagement may also explain why trust was such an influential variable in this study. Accord ing to diffusion of innovations, individuals are more likely to a dopt an innovation who (a) percei ve that doing so provides a better advantage than the alternatives (relative ad vantage), (b) view that doing so is consistent with their existing values, past experiences, and needs (compatibility), (c) do not feel that the innovation would be difficult to und erstand and apply (complexity ), (d) can experiment with the innovation on a limited basis (tr ialability), and (e) can observ e positive results of others who have adopted the innovation (ob servability). In the case of en tering into a CE agreement, however, both trialability and observability are lo w, if not non-existent. As a result, ones level of trust in CEs must be relatively high to accoun t for the lack of triala bility and observability. As a final note regarding trust, Rogers ( 2003) describes how many innovations fail given that in their diffusion, participa nts are usually quite heterophilous A change agent, for instance, is more technically competent th an his or her clients. This difference frequently leads to ineffective communication as the two individual s do not speak the same language (p. 19). These findings regarding the strong influe nce of participant trust demonstr ate the need fo r practitioners to build a strong relationship, related to ranchers and establish trust in order to increase the number considering engaging in a CE agreement. 156

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The indirect influence of financial incentives (namely estate tax deductions) in this study relates to Daniels (1991) research that if farmers believe a CE will be of financial benefit to them, they would be more likely to participat e. Estate tax deductions was the only financial variable used in this model as both the rece iving a payment for the CE and the property tax deductions variables were highly correlated with that variable, yet di d not explain as much variance in R-square. The strong influence of financial incentives in this study may also help explain the lack of a significant relationship between perceived be havioral control and be havioral intent. In discussing actual versus perceived behavioral control, Ajzen ( 1991) stated that ac tual behavioral control concerns the availability of needed resources and opportunities required to engage in a behavior. Given that ranchers perc eive the provision of financial incentives as a key influence in their likelihood of engaging in a CE agreement and yet their level of knowledge concerning CEs was relatively low, awareness of the financial incentives involved and their individual accessibility to such incentives may also be lo w. Again, Ajzen (1991) stated that perceived behavioral control may not be a realistic indicator if the target audience has little information about the behavior being measured. Finally, the structural equation model also demonstrated that while ones perception of the sale or donation of certain prope rty rights and their pe rceived land conservation value to Florida water and wildlife resources were providing significant standardized indirect effects on behavioral intent through holistic CE perspec tive, these variables were also demonstrating significant standardized direct effects on behavioral intent The influence of ranchers perceptions of the sale /donation of certain property rights an d their perceived land conservation value relates to Mashours (2004) focus gr oup findings among Florida easement workshop 157

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participants, where curbing urban sprawl and environmental preservation were listed among the top benefits of CEs. The structural equation model demonstrated th at the six variables of attitude, subjective norms, trust, financial incentives, sale/donation of certain property rights, and perceived land conservation value explained 54% of the variance in behavioral intent to engage in a CE agreement. If practitioners address these variab les in their dissemination of CE information, perhaps the number of ranchers considering engaging in a CE agreement would increase. Recommendations for Research 1. This study found that few participants were very familiar with the term conservation easement. As a result, further research is needed to gauge participant understanding of CEs including (a) where participants have acquired their current knowledge and (b) how (i.e. from which sources and which formats) they would prefer to obtain more CE information. 2. Given the small percentage of Florida cattle ra nchers that used Extension either quarterly, monthly or weekly, further re search is needed to gauge Florida cattle ra ncher use of Extension, including: (a) fre quency, (b) relevance of info rmation provided, and (c) accessibility to livestock Extension agents. 3. While most ranchers in this study scored ve ry high on the nature identity scale, their conservation identity scores were much lower an d more varied. Further research is needed to identify the influence of conservation ident ity (namely connection to conservationists) on behavioral intent to engage in land cons ervation programs among farmers and ranchers. 4. Further analysis is also needed on the role of conservation identity within the theory of planned behavior among farmers and ranchers. Specifically, differences should be examined between individuals who indicate a strong conservation identity and those who do not in their attitudes, subjective norma tive beliefs, perceived behavioral c ontrol, and behavioral intent to engage in proenvironmental farming and ranching practices. 5. Research is needed on the development of enviro nmental identity scales targeted specifically towards farmers and ranchers. 6. In studies using the theory of planned behavior to predict adoption of conservation programs among farmers and ranchers, additional re search is needed to determine: a. The influence of general attitudesor deeper valuessuch as participant trust in such programs and in the organizations and agencies delivering them. 158

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159 b. The role of financial incentives within th e theory. Namely, which types of financial incentives are most influential on progra m adoption decision and which farmers and ranchers are more likely to be influenced by such financial incentives. c. Which types of farmers and ranchers ar e more likely to pe rceive their lands conservation value as high for wildlife and water resources. 7. Because perceived behavioral control was not a significant influence on intent to engage in a CE agreement in this study, further research is needed to gauge applicability of perceived behavioral control among farmer s and ranchers regarding adop tion of conservation programs. 8. Lastly, research comparing actual CE adoption be havior with the findings of this study is needed to analyze whether the key variables predicting CE adoption would remain the same. Recommendations for Practice 1. Given that participant trust provided such a stro ng influence in this study on ones intent to enter into a CE agreement, practitioners should address the intentions and integrity of their organization(s) when deliveri ng land conservation information, workshops or seminars. 2. In delivering CE information, workshops and seminars, practitioners should also provide testimonials from cattle ranchers who relate well to the key concerns and needs of workshop/seminar participants. Th is would also help to better establish a norm, which was a strong influence on behavioral intent in this study. 3. Because the financial incentives of receiving a payment for the CE, estate tax deductions, and property tax deductions provided st rong influences on cattle rancher intent to engage in a CE agreement in this study, practitioners should cl early market all of th e financial incentives involved with entering into a CE agreement. 4. Ranchers who perceived their land conservation value as high for Florida water and wildlife resources were more likely to enter into a CE agreement in this study. As a result, practitioners should relay target ed information to ranchers concerning their individual land conservation value. 5. Participants in this study indicated that they rarely used their local Extension service, yet research has shown that Extension agents can help reduce the perceive d risks involved with adopting conservation programs and increase the number of farm operators considering change. As a result, Florida Extension agents should attempt to interact more frequently with various cattle ranchers and deliver transp arent information and advice concerning land conservation programs.

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APPENDIX A INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD AP PROVAL: QUALITATIVE INTERVIEWS 160

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APPENDIX B INFORMED CONSENT: QUALITATIVE INTERVIEWS 161

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APPENDIX C INTERVIEW GUIDE Interviews with beef cattle ranchers: Those that have entered intoor are in the process of entering intoa conservation easement agreement My overall goal for this research is to bette r understand your perceptions about conservation easements, which will stem from a few overarching questions: What do you enjoy most about your ranch, or ranching lifest yle in general? How long has your family operated this ranch? What conservation practices do you implement on your land? (For example: prescribed burning or planting native grasses) What are your thoughts about rura l land development in Florida? Probe: Have you been faced with development pressures (i.e. approached by a land developer)? Do you feel that your land and your lifestyle are being threatened by development? What is your perception about rural land conservation? Probe: What do you see are the advantages and disadvantages of land conservation practices? Are some practices more appropriate on your property than others? Why? What do you think about conservation easemen ts (CEs) as a land conservation tool? What made you consider enteri ng into a CE agreement? Probe: How did you first learn about CEs? What is the key reason you decided to enter into a CE agreement? What do you believe are the advantages/disadva ntages of entering into a CE agreement? Are there any individuals or groups who influenced your decision? Probe: how so? Are there any factors that would make it difficu lt or impossible for someone to enter into a CE agreement? If so, what would they be? Do you have any questions about my research or any other topics you would like to discuss today? Once again thank you very much for your timeI really appreciate it! 162

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163 Interviews with beef cattle ranchers: Those that have not entered into a conservation easement agreement My overall goal for this research is to bette r understand your perceptions about conservation easements, which will stem from a few overarching questions: What do you enjoy most about your ranch, or ranching lifest yle in general? How long has your family operated this ranch? What conservation practices do you implement on your land? (For example: prescribed burning or planting native grasses) What are your thoughts about rura l land development in Florida? Probe: Have you been faced with development pressures (i.e. approached by a land developer)? Do you feel that your land and your lifestyle are being threatened by development? What is your perception about rural land conservation? Probe: What do you see are the advantages & disadv antages of land conservation practices? Are some practices more appropriate on your property than others? Why? What options, if any, have you considered about conserving your land? What do you think about conservation easemen ts (CEs) as a land conservation tool? How did you first learn about CEs? What do you believe are the advantages/disadva ntages of entering into a CE agreement? What is the key reason you decided no t to enter into a CE agreement? Are there any individuals or groups who influenced your decision? Probe: How so? What are the factors that make it difficult or impossible for someone to enter into a CE? Probe: Are any of these factors removable? Lets take away all of the barrie rs involved with enteri ng into a CE agreement. If you were to enter into a CE, what would be the major reason(s) for you? Did you have any questions about my research or any other topics you would like to discuss today? Once again thank you very much for your timeI really appreciate it!

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APPENDIX D QUALITATIVE INTERVIEW DOMAINS Raw Interview Findings These qualitative interviews took place with four Cattle Ranchers in north Florida (north of Orlando) and two in south Florida (south of Orlando). Two ranchers had entered into an easement, two were in the process of doing so, and two were not interested in conservation easements (CEs). Each interview was conducted on the ranchers property. General Attitudes Land Development Note. Most ranchers had a strong opposition to land development, but one rancher who was opposed to CEs viewed development positively because it kept the pric e of agricultural land high. Im not very much in favor of it at all. Im very opposed to development in agricultural land. Im very opposed to any development, you know, away from urban cente rs. You know this far-flung development that is going on. (TR) Generally Im very much opposed to developm ent of any wildland or any agricultural land. (TR) They shouldnt allow developers to go way off to the side in rural forested and agricultural areas. Im completely opposed to that (TR) The whole state has these far flung developments where protected land is just in little pieces everywhere. You know thats no good at all (TR) You know that you really lik e your land and you just couldnt be ar to have it ever turned into development and you cant trust relatives or someone that you were going to sell it to that said they were going to keep it like it is. You know you can ne ver trustthings happen. But with a conservation easement, thats it (TR) Thats quite a fear. Esp ecially these guys right across the la ke over here. I could imagine having homes right there. I wouldnt be here to watch them (TR) Im in favor of every possible way to use to preserve land. Whether it is outright purchase, conservation easements, whatever it takes to preserve as much land because we are not making anymore. It is disappearing fast here in Florida so they have to use whatever means they can (TR) I personally think that land developmentshould be more concise and into a smaller area (LB) Where you go in and clear cut a total area just to put up a bunch of houses and then maybe come back in and plant some non-native stuff. That drives me crazy (LB) you just dont want to see it all taken away, our rural lands taken away, and be nothing but condos and houses. (TC) when you ride through central Florida and see a beautiful ranch right next to houses just crowding it around. (TC) 164

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I think enough of rural land has been ruined al ready. I wish a lot of it would be savedwhats left of ittheres very little farms left (FW) I never wanted to see a subdivision up on my pr operty (FW) Maybe someday Florida will be developed to the point where we dont have any more agriculture. I hope not, but the day could come (LeB) Rural land development is good for people that have invested in agricultural land through the years because it always creates a value thats above the agricultural value of the land. But I also think that we need to be planned and not overbuild or overuse our rural lands (RiB) Really its our bank. Land is our bankits really used fo r financial stability (RiB) Development Pressure Note. All ranchers had experi enced development pressure. Thats one of the reasons why we took the easement was because we were approached by people that wanted to develop the land. And we struggled with that. We could have probably doubled or tripled what we had in selling the easementespecially in that timeframe from 2003-2006 when the price of land was very high you are approached by people that would want to purchase the entire pr operty for a huge amount of money, huge and then it would be gone forever. And thats not just someth ing that we were wi lling to do (LB) My trigger point was when we were actually approached with somebody purchasing the entire thing (LB) There were so many options with people call ing you all the time saying hey have you done anything with that land yet, dont forget about me, you know, Im a friend of so and so over here there was a frenzy going on. It was just crazy. (RB) He wanted to purchase enough la nd from us in the south pasture to put in a sand mind brought his damned helicopter in and landed it right out there on that field and gave her a helicopter ride. I was so disgusted with it. (TC) So a bidding war ensued and it got just ungodly. We would have never had to hit a lick at a snake. And finally I just stopped her. I said mamma, you dont want to do this. Yeah we would never have to worry about anything agai n but we dont want 5 or 600 acres of this land in a sand mind right in the middle of us, please stop. And she did. (TC) Well be working on a fence up there on the side of the roadwe own pr operty right up here on 245thats where we are putting the easement on. And this Cadillac or Lincoln will pull up and this character will jump out in a suit who smells like he ju st got out of the shower and were dirty. And he says do you own this land ? Yes sir. He knows I own it because hes checked up on me. But he finds out who I am an d he says well, w ould you sell it? And I said No, we dont want to sell it. We ll do you know what its worth? Yeah, I know what its worth. Well why wouldnt you sell it? Well I don t want to sell it. But did you know that if you sell it you could have this kind of car, you could have a condo, or you could go to Europe, or you c ould do this or that or what ever? And I said No, Im happy doing just what Im doing. And hell look at me like Im the craziest person he ever saw and get back in his car and take off. But that happens frequen tly, haha. (R: It does?) Either working up there or down here, you know, they come down here too. I get a kick out of it. I enjoy insulting those state brokers. (R: how often would you say you are approached?). Maybe 2-3 times a year. (R: wow). I mean th e whole treatmenttheres people here every 165

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day that want to buy down here. Maybe 2-3 times a week theyll stop in here and wonder, well why wouldnt you sell an acre, we just want 5 acres or something like that. (FW) Ive been approached many times. Several. Ca nt count them all on both my hands thats for sure (LeB) Ive been faced several times but recently I was faced. My neighbor sold his 566 acres that joins my fence for a tremendous sum of money and Iv e had developers try to come to me and have offered me fantastic sums of money to break up my property and sell into 10 acre blocks, 20 acre blocks. But I didnt do that. I feel like I like what I do and I enjoy agriculture (RiB) Connectedness to Nature I like the outdoors (TR) Ive lived in the outdoors all my life (TR) My father used to bring me hunting in the wo ods so Ive always enjoyed being outdoors and just the outdoor life (LB) I was raised in the woods (LB) I love the birds (FW) I was born and raised right there in th e house under some big oak trees (LeB) We take care of all of our trees (LeB) Connectedness to the Ranch Its just been part of our lif e since I was old enough to reme mber and I dont know if I would like not having it (RB) Its a way of life and I think youd miss it if you didnt have it. (RB) You could see the love in his eyes. I mean it was obvious, to me it was so obvious because I thought that was the first time I had really ever experienced his care for the animals themselves and the ranch. He loves it. (LB) Its been a part of my life all my life and I want it to be there as long as I live. (FW) I guess weve got it taken care of for keeping it in the family and keeping it in agriculture for at least 2 or 3 generations. (LeB) Attitudes about Conservation Easements Perpetual Nature Note. All ranchers that had entered into a CE ag reement or were in the process of doing so were in favor of the perpetual nature. You know the land is going to be protected always (TR) You can word it where with just a stroke of the pen you know your land is protected forever in the state that you want it to be protected. (TR) To permanently protect the land without any fe ar of anything ever happening to it (TR) There is going to be a big chunk of land out ther e that will always look just like it does today. (RB) 166

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We did not want to take this ride where 50 ye ars from now wed see a row of houses here and rows of houses there. So that you would be able to ride out here and look across this prairie and it looks just like it does now. And that would be for perp etuity. That was our driving force. (TC) I never wanted to see a subdivision up on my pr operty (FW) Whoever they sell it to the land would still have those restrictions on it for now up until supposedly forever (FW) Payment Had we not done what we did with the easement and werent able to get the funds that we had, we probably would at some point had to sell in order to maintain (LB) I think they are probably going to help the smaller guys stay in business if the money is there (RB) Keeping the property and still receiving remunera tion for it. Thats definitely a big thing. Moneys always an issue. (LB) Now theres lots of people th at would love to have an easem ent because it looks like the price of land is really come back and they could use that money now to make their bill go (RB) But you know the sums were tremendous when a ll this was going on compared to what it had been 5 years prior. I dont know why mo re people werent interested. (RB) You could get some money out of it too. (FW) Financial rewards (RiB) You would have to receive some benef it or some payment for doing it (RiB) Tax Benefits Note. Both those who were for and against CEs viewed the provision of tax benefits positively. When his daddy died, he had thousands and thousands of acres that were just basically lost because of the death tax (LB) the estate taxes this time around will be awes ome and were going to need a little bit of cash somewhere to hold this together. So we woul d have hoped that this could be done, you could set that money aside and know that for this ge neration that the estate is covered. (TC) Tax advantages are huge (TC) Theres some kind of tax breaks (FW) They created some tax benefits (RiB) The only thing I can think of is the tax incentives (RiB) Property Value Note. Most believed that their property value would decrease with a CE and perceived this negatively. However, one who had almost comple ted the CE negotiation process did not believe that the property value would decrease. Your property is worth less money (RB) 167

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Oh it is going to be worth or less of what it would be if it were unencumbered. So the disadvantages are financial and that would be the biggest one. Youre leaving a lot on the table if you do this theres just no doubt. Youre leaving a lot of money on the table if youre willing to do this. That is the only disadvantage that I could see. (TC) I cannot seeand this is what I try to tell so me of these people that dont want to do itwhy that would reduce the value of their land if they chose to sell it because there is getting to be so few tracts of big land and theres so many rich doctors and lawyers and John Travoltas and theyd pay as much as a developer for a good sized tract of land to get some solitude and get away from the world on. (FW) The restrictions are forever so there will never be a real value for that property for any of your heirs or any of your family or any of your donations that you may want to makeSo it would never have any real value, it would be an aesthetic thing. (RiB) Protect Wildlife Note. Only one rancher indicated a st rong view towards protecting wildlife. The advantage is not so much to the landowner but to the wi ldlife. It gives the wildlife somewhere to stay (FW) I like the wildlife there tooits a sanctuary. (FW) I just think that the birds out to have a sanc tuary somewhere. There ought to be someplace they can go. Ive been involved in a crusade against a lot of them in their airboats on the lake up there. When I come up and we hunted ducks on that lake, theres a lot of places you couldnt get at on that lake. Youd need to have a little small light little motor or a little push boat like you see up there in the swamps of Georgia. Th ats the way we hunted ducks. But with the airboats theres no place the ducks cant go that the airboa ts cant get to. Theres no sanctuary for them out there. (FW) Customized Nature, Few Restrictions Note. This view was not harbored by those who were against CEs. You can insert the terms that you want and they are very flexible. (LB) They pretty much l eave it up to you (LB) Its all negotiable, and th ats a good thing (LB) As far as we got and Ive seen of others, the restrictions are very few. You are allowed to pretty much do what youve always done with your la nd and they are not n itpicky at all about restrictions. You know youre su rely not able to develop more of your land, but you are sure allowed to do everything that you have been doing in the past. (TR) You are sure allowed to do everything that you have been doing in the past (TR) Land will Remain As It Is Note. This was perceived more important by those who had entered into an easement. This is my land and I want it to stay the way I want it to stay in the future (TR) 168

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If you can sell a certain amount of it in order to maintain what you have so that it doesnt go to the cookie-cutter types of development then that was really the only choice for me because its just an important pa rt of our life (LB) There needs to be some woods left, and this will be leftthat 900 acres will be left and will be just like it was when we bought it 75 years ago. So thats good. (RB) So its really the preserva tion of a lifestyle (LB) But youre always going to have people that wa nt to preserve the lifestyle and conservation easements absolutely preserve a lifestyle, they do. (LB) Leaving it for the next generation (LB) you would be able to ride out here and look across this prairie and it looks just like it does now. (TC) Its give the family, especially my grandchild ren, a place to see kind of like most of it was 50 years ago and not like it is now in most places. (FW) I never wanted to see a subdivision up on my pr operty (FW) Property Rights/Loss of Control Note. All ranchers who were interested in easeme nts did not see this as a problem, but those who were not interested in entering into a CE agreement viewed the loss of any property rights as a major issue. I supposed there are some people that are thes e extreme property rights people that absolutely refuse to give up any rights in their land. They wont want to be controlled in any way. They want to have the freedom to do whatever they want with their land and there are people like that who are not compromisers at all. If they want to put a nuclear waste site on their land, they want to have the right to do that. They wa nt to have the right to do anything with their land. (TR) I think that people just d ont want somebody else telli ng them what to do (LB) I think that control, losing cont rol and having another partner pre tty much to tell you what it is that you would do and what it is that you cant do and you know you really shouldnt do this (LB) I think that theres a lot of misconceptions too about easements, about the monkey sitting on your shoulder watching everything that you do and thats probably the biggest negative I think that people really dont understa nd what they are all about. (LB) Its a pretty technical thing. I think most of the general population, th ey dont know. They think oh youre going to buy this right or the develo pment right and youre going to tell me what to do with it? They really just dont understand, I dont think. (LB) Ive let it be known that we ar e interested in selling our de velopment rights and keep their damn hands off the rest of it. Our farm ing practices, this that and th e other, thats our business. Thats all were interested in selling. I say like when we knew we were getting into sod which they werent too fond of they said w ould you be willing to do it every third year? and I said no, absolutely not. We want to con tinue to do our farming practices as they are. (TC) DEP Department of Environmental Protecti onusually ends up bei ng a negotiator when you get right down to the bottom lineyou could se e them regulating you out of the deal saying OK, youve got to set this aside, youve got to do this with this, you cant) (TC) 169

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With our laws, if a man owns this property a nd pays the taxes on it every year, he can sell it when he wants to (LeB) I wouldnt ever want it to in any way be put under government control where they would have the right to tell you what you could do for conservation and what you couldnt do. I dont think thats the way to go. (LeB) R : Lets say you were contacted about doing an easement. What would be the key reason you would decide not to go through with that? L : If the government would want to take away any of our property rights to put an easement in. (LeB) They have a lot of restrictions. You know they wa nt to continue to manage your land and tell you how to do and you know you cant do certain things and you shouldnt do certain things. They keep it pretty tight. (RiB) You shouldnt lose control of your land totally if youre going to participate in an easementthey got into too much red tape be fore I got finished with the deal (RiB) As far as Im concerned you lose a lo t of rights, yeah, you sure do. (RiB) Government Attitude/Mistrust and Mistrust th at the Easement Will Hold for Perpetuity Note. The only government mistrust issue mentio ned by those in an easement or entering into one was mistrust as to whether the agreemen t would hold up with new landowners. Those who were against CEs saw the government as re stricting, harmful, and not trustworthy. But that was my biggest fear was the trust issue about whether or not the United States government would actually do what they sa y they were going to do along with the conservancy. It wasnt that I didnt place th e trust in the conserva ncy but when you assign something like that to someone else and then its assigned to someone else and someone else, that was a real fear for me. It s like, well what if in 20 year s they decide well we dont need this anymore, were just going to sell it (LB) The government works hard and tries hard but most of the time it seems like government programs have loop-holes in them that really dont accomplish what maybe they set out to accomplish. (LeB) A lot of times I think the federal governme nt dont look long enough for the best way to do something (LeB) try to work with the govern ment and let the government know what thingstheyre always looking at something new and a few of them turn out to be helpful, of course most of them arent (LeB) That hinges on continuing to have a good working relationship with the gove rnment so that the government dont hurt you too bad (LeB) I could see some things that might come through the legislature that might cause difficulty for ranchers to be able to use so me of the things that they need to do on their ranch to be profitable (RiB) The laws of the state of Florida. I could see them being a threat and the U.S. government (RiB) I believe that if you look at th e land ownership in the United Stat es and the state of Florida, you will find that the government owns a huge percentage of the land ri ght now. So thats being managed by what they think is right at this point in time and I violently disagree with them (RiB) 170

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I disagree with a lot of polit ics thats going on, a lot of em. And it looks lik e its gonna get worse, thats what bothers me. Because thos e two thats running the democratic ticket, theyve never had a job in their life and they dont know anything about free enterprise. They dont care anything about free enterprise and they think that profit is a sin. They think that the government can take care of people, well the government didnt make any money. They dont make any money. They have no way of making m oney. They only spend money (RiB) Ive seen all the land that the state water ma nagement districts has bought and the state of Floridas bought and then they just turn into eye sores because nobodys managing the land (R: oh) and the woods grow up, the weeds grow up and its thrown away land. They should allow that to be used for some type of management practices that will keep that land in good shape. And agricultures the only one that will do that. (RiB) Agriculture is not respected by the government. They always ha d a cheap food policy in this country and theyve always tried to keep things heap and it hasnt be en good for agriculture (RiB) Subjective Norms & Memberships Involvement in/Membership with Local/State/National Environmental Groups Note. This was only mentioned by ranchers who were entering into a CE agreement or already had entered into one. I am involved with local environmental groups one of them is called Defenders of Crooked Lake. They operate against any type of deve lopment in this area. We have been very successful so far. Babson Park is really a hotbed of environmentalists. Nature Conservancy sure got us started in the process and they were very nice. (TR) Im president of the Putnam Land Conservancy (TC) When it first got startedum, its natural for us old conservative farming folks to look at something new as something bad and any governme ntal interference as just thata form of interferenceor a form of socialism and communism. But th at original mistrust has been replaced to where there is a partnership between these alliances and our people (TC) I have with the Alachua County Conservation Trus t been to a few places and talked to some landowners probably 150 people at a field there, talked to them to try and encourage some of them about saving their land. (FW) Im on the advisory board on the Alachua County Conservation Trust (FW) Neighbors Note. Ranchers that had entered into a CE ag reement or were in the process of doing so mentioned neighbors who were also interested/had already entered into one. Those who were not interested had neighbors who had sold to developers. I have neighbors in the ranchi ng business and they ar e interested in CEs themselves (TR) Ive always encouraged my neighbors to do the same thing that Im doing, you know? I dont want to be an island. I dont want our land to just be an island in the middle of development, 171

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so to me it is just as importan t to have neighbors that are inte rested in the same thing I am (TR) My neighbor sold his 566 acres that joins my fence for a tr emendous sum of money (RiB) Close Friends/Other Cattle Ranchers Note. As in neighborsthose who had entered into a CE or who were doi ng so had close friends that had already entered their land into an easement. Those who were not interested had mentioned having friends (including other catt le ranchers) who also had distrusted the government and sale or d onation of property rights. Ive talked with a few ranchers that have really regretted their decision to sell. Once that land is gone, its gone forever. (RB) Dole Conner, our close friend and long time co mmissioner of agriculturehe was an early believer and he was on their national board and that was my first exposure to the conservation easement process (TC) So I had daddy call Dole Conner. They went to university together and were close, close friends. After a one hour conversation with Do le, daddy called me and said OK, you were right and I was wrong. So he was warmed to the process. Dole Conner was a big help. Bud Adams of Adams Ranchesthey have done an easement. He was President way before me but they are close friends and I respect them so highly. The Kempfer familyfriends for three generationshas done easements on portions of their property. And so some longtime ranching families that we respect very mucht heir interest and participation helped to stimulate ours as well. It made us feel a l ittle better that we were doing the right thing because once again you are leaving a lot of money on the plate. (TC) My good friend is a lawyer in town that bought about 120 acres here 7 years ago and hes interested in savi ng his too. (FW) I have a good friend that also spoke at that Pa latkathat owns a lot larger ranch. His name is Sean Sexton and he recently got an easement on his. Hes got about 400 acres and he says its solid city around him. And his is the only thing left like that. He says he put a fence around his when he got the easement to keep the peopl e out because its a sanctuary for the birds and the cattle and the turtles and what-not. (FW) I had some good friends that I got associated with through thisold Ed McCarr, I dont know if you know him or not but hes I guess hes the president of Alachua County Conservation and Busy Browly who is also big into it shes Mi ke Browlys wife. Mike Browlys the county commissionerthey helped a lot. (FW) hes a good friend and hes already gotten an easement on his property down there around Melbourne. (FW) My lawyer friend who lives here toohes got about 120 acres that hes considering on his also. There are 2-3 people who have lesser acreage that theyd like to do also if theyre interested in doing an easement on lesser acreage -25 acres. FW) R : and would you say that a lot of your friends, ot her cattle ranchers would have that same mindset that theyd be really hesitant to let the government have control over [LeB starts nodding here before I finish this statement]. 172

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Parents/Family My father was the only one of us that was not for this/ Now the land does come from my mammas side of the family. She owns half, I own half. Her half is going to my son (TC) Ive made efforts and talked to other people down here to try to save more land. My brother has about 40 acres and hes interested at the time in saving it. (FW) They knew that if Id come in that daddy had agreed to sign a note for me (LeB) I thought my dad was the greatest that had ever lived. He was a man of very few words but he had the most wisdom of about anyone Id ever known and when he spoke, everybody listened (LeB) Mamma and daddy took good care of my 2-3 registered Angus while I was gone (LeB) My dad, hes 92 years oldhes been in agriculture, my grandfathers were in agriculture, but they were all small ag people (RiB) Florida/National Cattlemens Association I was president of the Florida Catt lemens Association in (TC) My granddaddy was one of the early founders of the Florida Cattlemens Association and he was their 6th president. So I grew up with these people andCharlie Likes and Ben Hill Griffon were friends and spent nights in my grandfathers home. (TC) National Cattlemens Associati on. I was vice chairman of ou r private lands committee back when I was active in it and a national director fo r 3 years and really enjoyed that experience. (TC) We [Florida Cattlemens] see the conservation easement process as about the best way to preserve land now to be honest with you (TC) We in the National Cattlemens Association, weve always been real active at the state and national level to try to work with the government and let the government know what things theyre always looking at something new and a few of them turn out to be helpful, of course most of them arent (LeB) Farm Bureau Note. Only local county Farm Bureaus were mentioned. I have been a part of and have been to more than half a dozen meetings, informational meetings, seminars, that were a partnership of a Cattl emens or Farm Bureau -type organization and trust organizations and wo rking together. (TC) We had a seminar for landowners in Putnam, St. Johns and Flagler here a while back and it was sponsored by the county cattlemens association, the tri-county farm bureau, Land Trust Alliance, just a cross sectionboth sides of the fenceits a good thing (TC) I was the director of our tri-county Farm Bu reau: Putnam, St. Johns and Flagler for many, many years. (TC) 173

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Extension Daddy was a county agricultural agent for many years. We work programs in through the Extension service. We are active in supporti ng them, they are activ e in supporting us. We have some SHARE programs, Ill show you later a solar-powered well system that we put in thats running water to cattle over a mile (TC) Florida International Agri-Business Trade Council Ive been president of the Florida International Agri-Business Trade Council for 20 something years (LeB) Perceived Behavioral Control Long, Drawn-Out Process Note. This was the major barrier with regards to entering into a CE agreement. They can be quite long drawn out things (TR) Conservation easements can take all the fight out of you. It is such a drawn out process it can be a real bugger (TR) Mostly the complexity and how long and drawn out the process can beit was just a very drawn out process where you had to just k eep taking people out there, you know, and showing them around and then do it ag ain and again. It just stretches on forever (TR) We were just worn down by the long drawn out processjust completely worn down by it. I think they should have a more expedited process. (TR) They can stretch out for a year (TR) We were just worn out. Physically, mentally worn out, really. (TR) You are working with more than one group be cause they are trying to get funding from different sources so the one we were worki ng with there was a private donor from Palm Beach. Of course he wanted to come out one day and take a look at where his money was going to go to. You are working as well with th e federal government, the NRCS, a little bit of the money came from the Nature Conservancy It wasnt just like one person was writing you out a check, you know? (TR) Its a long drawn out process (RB) we have advanced to the A-list of the Florida Forever program. We may s it there forever, haha. It may truly be a forever program for us unfortunately. They are just not going to feel an urgent need to do ours anytime soon because we dont have much growth in Putnam County. All around us we do. Below in Flagler County, th e largest growing county in the country! Marion growing, Alachua grow ing, Clay growing, St. John. Everything around us is booming (TC) I think that the process is awfully complicatedthey need to simplify the process. (FW) to get this easement, I had to go back and try to get some changes made to my mothers deed. It cost me about 15 thousand dollars to get that done. The contract, this is the first thing. Me, both my sons and my wife had to sign that contract in sixteen different places and have it notarizedpay a notary to witness our signatures. Sixteen different places. And we get that 174

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and we go up there. Well, Alachua County Fore ver wants to change the wording in the contract from a conservation ea sement to stewardship. Well I asked my lawyer and he says thats ok. Then they come back again and says we want you to never put fertilizer within 200 feet of Orange Lake. Well thats ok too because the spreader truck couldnt get any closer than 200 feet as wet as it is down there. Theres 147 acres thats in the life estate my mother wanted and Ive got three partsabout two 10 acre pieces and a five acre piece where our home is. They now want me to go back to the lawyer which will cost more money and get it all put into one deed. (R: wow). So thats where we are right now. It was supposed to have been settled in November. It was suppos ed to have been settle d in February. It was supposed to have been settled in March and now its supposed to be se ttled in the last of April or the 1st of May. But I dont know when we get th is here if they are going to come up with something else or not. (FW) The process is too complicated (FW) Weve been into this thing for about three ye ars. But trying to get the deeds to where they would accept it, it took that long. (FW) Just keeping on and keeping on. Some of those peoplelawyers and thingsI hate lawyers. I got two good friends here in town and I think the world of them. I like them and theyre lawyers. But the rest of them, theyre just out to get you, all the mone y they can get out of you. (FW) Since weve signed the contract theyve come up w ith these other 2-3 things that they want to change and go on and now we have to go get a lawyer and lump this over into one deed instead of about 4 deeds (FW) If I could get it done like that and it would cost anything I dont care. But its the back and forth and back and forth and sending me a bill for 150 dollars and another bill for 500 dollars and thats the way that it will go fo r about a month or two (FW) The process should be simplified. (FW) Do you think having to sign 16 times on a c ontractsounds like twi ce ought to be enough anyway doesnt it? (FW) They have so many restrictions and so many requir ements that its too much red tape for me to be involved. I went a little wa ys with it but the red tape wa s kind of thick. The process is ridiculous! Its ridiculous (RiB) They just need to have a simple list of laws that youve got to abide by and you need to follow those plans (RiB) Each time I looked in my mailbox I had another letter and another paper to sign and another change. It wasnt carried out in an orderly fa shion and it wasnt explained in ait was just too much correspondence. I was about spending full time trying to give my land away! (R: wow) It was just an aggravating situation. That little ol girl Ellen she worked hard but that board she works with apparently, I dont know, anyway it was not very businesslike. Thats my opinion of it, it was not very businesslike. Seemed like you had people that didnt know what they were doing on that board, Ill just be frank with you (R: wow, well that would be frustrating). Yeah, it is with me, yeah. Becau se I mean everybodys time is worth something. But it was a time consuming thing to try to gi ve your land away. Thats the real red tape thing as far as Im concerned. Bureaucracy is wh at I call it. It was lo aded with bureaucracy. (RiB) They dont need to have it so detailedI ts just bogged down w ith details (RiB) 175

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Risk Note. This was not previously c onsidered by the researcher and was perceived to be an issue only for small ranchers. Thats a lot of lost sleep at night (TR) I mean those deals can go to hell in a hand ba sket. They could lose their funds. They have X amount of money. A person puts up 2-3 million dolla rs and they say alright well well get our conservancy to throw in this and well get the federal government to throw in this and then when it comes time, alri ght I think weve got a deal an d they dont want to do it, the moneys gone, and times going on (LB: it can be very stressful). Its stressful as hell especially when you start and the price of the land is so high and when you finish it can be way down and in our case it was starting the ot her way. (R: OK). I mean you just dont do it like that. Its not a 60-80 day d eal. Its 18-20 months. (RB) Its not a bilateral contract (LB) You cant go anywhere when you sign in, youre lo cked in and they can quit anytime for any reason. They dont have to have any reason. They could get up today and say you know what, I aint doin it (RB) They can drawback but you cant because of the t ype of contract that they enter into (LB) And you know you cant find one in a hundred of these small type, 500-2000 acre places, 90% of them, they are trying to make a go of these things and you say we ll Im going to jump in here and in 18 months Im going to get X amount of dollars. But what if you go 17 months and the deal falls apart and your bills are just piling up (RB) Its a risk. Youve got your time and money invested. Its hard, it s real hard. So it was a hard decision to make. (LB) Demographics Children/Heirs If you had a big family, my wife and I, we dont have any family basically. No kids. Most of my family has passed away. Lindas got a couple sisters but as far as we arent trying to provide for the next generation, you know. Ha d that of been the case then you know we probably would have looked at moving our pr operty for the highest price we could have gotten for it so everybody would have a chance when its their tu rn, you know? (RB) Well and in the same vein as that, some people may feel that its been in their family for generations. Im sure that if we had a child we would have probably done the same thing especially if that child would have wanted to do the same thing and car ry on that tradition. (LB) that would play a part in itwhat your kids would want to do, whethe r they would want to carry on (LB) If you had 5-6 kids and they are all lawyers a nd accountants and didnt care anything about the outdoors, why would you want to keep it for 40 cents on a buck for what you could have sold it for? (RB) close to 160 years. My son is 7th generation direct descendent. (TC) I have two sons that I think harbor these same views. (FW) 176

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Thats how the oldest one got started and the othe r ones, they fell in line too (with 4-H) maybe 5-6 years later (LeB) Our youngest grandkids, weve got one I think 7, 8 and 9, and theyve all been involved in it ever since they turned 6 years old and got old enough to get into 4-H. (LeB) You just automatically, I think, want to improve everything youve got so that your children and grandchildrenmy babys a girl and shes the best cowboy on this placeshe loves it as good as I do and shes got a nine-year old boy and he loves it as good as either one of us do so I know its in good hands for a while (LeB) Theres a few of us that itll stay in the fa mily for maybe a couple of more generations, maybe threeI dont know (LeB) My number one objective was that as long as there was any of our kids and grandkids that wanted to stay here and keep running it as an angus ranch, they cant do it with the rest of them agreeing to sell their stock (LeB) I guess weve got it taken care of for keeping it in the family and keeping it in agriculture for at least two or three generations (LeB) I think thats probably the best way that we can keep a generation on our land that will want to do the best conservation practices they can do. You know hopefully our grandkids, weve taught them everything we know and hopefully they ll be able to learn a little something on their own and theyll want to continue what wev e raised them up to believe: That the better care we take of our land the better ca re its gonna take care of us (LeB) I have children and grandc hildren but they are not interested in taking over (RiB) My daughters married to a preacher and both of my grandsons, one of them is going to be working in the church and the other one is a computer guru (RiB) If youve got a family following you that loves ag riculture and youre going to continue on, its a good historic thing to do to keep that land in agriculture (RiB) if there was heirs involved and you had more than one person in charge of what they were going to do with the property. It w ould be at trouble to get all of the people to go through the process of giving the land away. It would be diffi cult. (R: thats a great point) If youve got a single landowner like me its ok but if you had a family or something it would be a real family meeting if you had multiple owners on a piece of property. And some of these large ranchers are on ranches that great, great grandpa bought many y ears ago and theres a lot of owners. (RiB) Youve got brothers, youve got sons, youve got grandsons on some of these big ranches. Theyre all involved in some way. Theyd all have to be kind of in agreement. The more you get involved with doing an eas ement and the more people youve got involved to do it just seems like it would be a very complicated pr ocess to go through to give your land away. (RiB) Land Size The small rancher like we are where you hire 3-4 cowboys to come in and help you when you move your cattle and bring your cattle to marketthats probably more threatened than the huge operations (LB) A lot of the easements are done like I said by th e large corporations that are just doing it for a tax credit and not necessarily doing it for the right reasons (LB) We own over 600 acres here now (LeB) 177

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Ive got about 1,100 acres (RiB) Next to a Preserved ParcelEither State Preserved or Neighbors Having an Easement There is a bunch of state land that joins our land thats all fenced off. (RB) One of the reasons that the c onservancy really liked our piec e of our propertythey already owned about 3,000 acres next to us and they wa nted something right next to that. They wanted a wildlife corridor into the Bawmen Ra nch which is out this side of townstate owned property. They wanted a wildlife corridor reaching from the property that they owned outright through severa l ranches into the state land at the Bawmen Ranch. So our property was number one on their list, you know. (RB) Its right next to a state property that will never be built on (RB) In a Wildlife Corridor For one thing we have endangered species but we are also in a wildlife corridor. The state just purchased approximately 4,000 acres near that property (TR) Well and I think too that its also tied to th e conservancy or whoever is purchasing the easement and the reasons why theyre doing it and this was really to provide a corridor (LB) This is a wildlife corridor (FW) Presence of Endangered Species We have a lot of endangered species (TR) The other ranch has probably one of the largest scrub-jay populations left in the world and they are on the endangered species list. Plus we ha ve sand skinks here a nd down there. (TR) There was a Florida cougar that was passing through our area (LB) It was really kinda neat and weve seen some bl ack bear out there and its just a really cool place (LB) Deer, turkey, quail, dove, raccoon, bobcat, coyote, bear, panther. Everything that North Florida has indigenous to its area we are blessed w ith We had a panther si ghting just less than a year ago not far from my house. (R: wow). A bear visited us for an extensive period this year and we do have honey and the first time wev e ever had this done, destroyed one of our feeders. But he went on his way (TC) Generations Owning the Ranch My son is 7th generation direct descendent. (TC) My great grandfather came here from Sout h Carolina in the late 1870s and bought the land from his owner (FW) I bought the first 40 acres in 1955 for 50 dollars an acre (LeB) Ive been ranching for all my life I bought that property in 1974 (RiB) 178

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179 Miscellaneous Findings Patriotism Note. Only ranchers who did not wish to enter in to an easement indicated a very strong sense of patriotism. The Korean war started and a few months late r Uncle Sam decided he need me. I was drafted into the army (LeB) Ill get right mad with somebody that goes to running this country down. The ones that were in the war and fought to keep it fr ee and the ones who have worked all their lives to keep it freeI sure get fightin mad when somebody starts lambasting our country. Weve got the most generous country in the world and we ve got the best country on earth (LeB) Were sitting here and letting those middle eas t countries rob us. In South America, theyre robbin us and were sitting here with a bunch of liberals in congress th at wont let us drill for oilwe need to be drilling here in America and we need to be getting oil for our own use and using it here (RiB) Religious Beliefs I promised the good lord many a night (LeB) If we depend on the good Lord to help us and ask for His help and thank Him for His help, I still do that every day. I know that a little ol Florida cracker boy that started out with a paper route making six dollars a week couldnt have ev er come to where this place is today without the good Lord blessing our efforts (LeB)

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APPENDIX E INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOAR D APPROVAL: PILOT STUDY 180

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APPENDIX F PRENOTICE LETTER 181

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APPENDIX G INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOAR D APPROVAL: FINAL STUDY 182

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APPENDIX H SURVEY PACKET ENVELOPE 183

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APPENDIX I SURVEY COVER LETTER 184

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APPENDIX J DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENT 185

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APPENDIX K INCENTIVE 193

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APPENDIX L POSTAGE-PAID BUSINESS REPLY ENVELOPE 194

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APPENDIX M THANK YOU/REMINDER POSTCARD 195

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APPENDIX N LETTER FOR NONRESPONDENTS 196

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APPENDIX O SURVEY COMMENTS 984: If we could keep it forever and be paid a fair market value we would be ready to leave it as is forever only replacing older homes as they burn down or have to be torn down and let our children be able to live on the land forever 759: I have two thoughts on CEs: time + m oney. First, if government, conservation organizations, and society believe the conservation of ag land is important, then they should be willing to pay for it. Most full time farmers are no t in the financial position to donate their land or development rights awaythey owe too much to the bank to do that. But I believe if CEs were made to farmers at a substantial dollar level, they would much rather enter into these than see their land be developed into homes, roads, & shopping centers. But the CEs have to be proportionately competitive with the land developers' $. Second is timeNorth Florida is at the cusp of rapid development. It appears that the land developers have managed to pave + build on just about every square inch in south + central Florida + are now eying north Florida. CEs need to be made to farmers now in a substan tial dollar manner before it is too late. 775: I believe CEs are superior to state ownership of conservation lands because more land can be preserved with equal dollars, the land is ofte n better managed than st ate owned land, and the state does not have to pay for the management. A further advantage to lo cal government is that conservation easements usually leave the land on the tax rolls. 953: I believe they are a vital part of ag for th e future. I believe more farms should be converted to protect them in the future and financially help the status of a strugg ling farm to keep them deterred from the high land prices and sell ing the farm land for development interest. 780: There should be MANY levels of conservati on easements to accommodate a wide range of needs. Only very few should be permanent. E x. A good application would be conservation of a parcel for a specific task with a finite time. Such as growing a crop of timber. Also, consider the price of cattle might fall below profitable levels. If the property is on a PERMANENT conservation easement, the farmer starves. Flexibility is key. 855: I stand by and support any government or non-government land use conservation programs. I live in Columbia county which is being subdi vided and sold off at an alarming rate. The agriculture community is totally transformed in this area forever. Despite the hard work and stick to it mentality of the cattle + farm owners, there is little hope of this tr end to stop. This grieves me + most who have tried in vain to stay in an agriculture occupation. 706: I have paid for my land and would like to be paid a fair market value for it. As we have improved itpaid taxes on itwe would have little say on what we can or can't do with it. 832: I am a conservationist but no t a "wild eyed" envir onmentalist. I believe natures resources are for our use but not abuse. 787: I don't think I would buy any land that had a conservation easement on it. Ten/twenty years from now my new neighbors may not want me to have cows! 197

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279: CEs do not fit everyone's needs. It would be nice to be able to preserve the land in its native state, unfortunately some circumstances do not allow for it. Money and land value is the key issue. Does the land value appreciate the same with a CE attached as land without the CE? Probably not and that is the problem. 365: I would never "worship" land or nature, it is for providing food for people (the most important created being on Earth) it is my way of making a living. It is my gift and talent, what I was created to do to maintain my living. Ther efore I would be willing to SELL a conservation easement to perpetuate the way of life I hold de ar and pass it on to following generations but only for a PROFIT, never to donate to people who are nature worshipers or nature lovers (ones who love animals and trees more than people). It would be for my benefit not theirs that I would sell development rights. I would be able to ge nerate the income from development without actually developing the land. 130: Have transferable development rights for prev iously owned property th at turned out to be worthless, therefore I am highly oppo sed to that concept. 900: We would consider a CE if it allowed agriculture and one dwelling per parcel 723: The St John River people n eed some oversight. They ha ve way too much power over landowners. 97: Conservation easements are a viable way to insure that adequate land can be dedicated to conservation of water (very important) recharge, to preserve the concept of family farm, wildlife resource and an air of openness that reflects natu re at its best. When land is dedicated for this purpose, there must be fair compensation provided so the financial future of the owner is not jeopardized. Urban sprawl is a fright when houses are built too close toge ther and no planning is done to retain open spaces, rechar ge areas and wildlife protection areas. I view this program as needed to retain natural wildlife and open space for relaxati on and beauty. 67: I wanted the wildlif e on my property to have a home a nd I enjoy seeing themI love all naturehowever, I am not willing to ha ve any type of contract on the land. 658: I have very definite plans for my little 60 acres and the friend who bought the rest of my ranch will keep it agricultural and wooded his en tire lifetime. I do not want to be contacted by any nature group to try to change my mind. Very few people have lived with nature more than we have before selling our larger acreage. I know how to survive and if necessary will be able to feed my wife and friends fr om the land. We have abundant deer, turkey and hogs. We can survive and I'm already practicing because I think the time is near when these city folks start jumping out of high rise buildings like they did in the great depression of 1929-1935. 642: Agriculture is a very dynamic industry, a llowing enough flexibility for working landscapes to be allowed to change to changing needs. Mo st CEs would not allow a change from cattle to BioFuel production. There may be an overwhelming need to allow this conversion. The need for CEs to allow all forms of agriculture (or just rest rict development rights) is important in Florida 198

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because of land values. By limiting land values, ag ricultural lands can be passed from generation to generation. While I may want to pass the ranc h on to the next generation, the next generation may not wish to continue ranching. 341: It is FOOLISH to allow gov't to BUY land for preservation/conservation when the PRIMARY objectives can be met with a CE!! 61: Contrary to the beliefs of Farm Bureau and Fla Cattlmen's Association, Fla is no longer an ag state! Agriculture is no longer c onducive to the direction Fla ha s gone in the past 30 yearsFla has become a Disney World state and any indus try that is not conduciv e to tourism is not wanted! I remember when Disney World was a cow pasture and Kissimmee was a word that tourists couldn't pronounce and water mgmt district s didn't exist and big dairies thrived. Both houses of legislature composed of native Floridia ns and not Yankees trying to create a place that they just left (north) and didn't like. I'm a na tive Floridian but can't take it anymore so I'm moving out. Good Luck! If Fla wants CE then let th e legislature pay the ranc hers FAIR (inflated) market value for their land and stop placing more restri ctions on land usage. 102: Conservation is great for our lifestyle and beauty. But, cons ervation must be conveyed to the consuming public as a necessity for food and fiber. 168: I am upset that so many agricultural areas are being sold to developers and the state. Conservation easements should be encouraged wh enever possible. 701: I am very pleased with the CE on my land a nd have had a great rapp ort with all the people involved. If you have any further ques tions you could contact me. Good luck with the PhD! 265: CEs are a way for midsize ranchers to be ab le to pass the land to the next generation and keep the land in ag. We have been getting the fe eling for several years now that ag is not wanted in Flbut rather people in the forms of tourists CEs can compensate the rancher for leaving the land in ag rather than selling out for development which is the highest value. 113: I attended a CE training and found the pro cess very complicated and non-specific. I left with more questions than I had when I entere d. I plan to attend anot her if I can get more information, but have been unsuccessful thus far, after several calls. 616: Two years ago we were entering into a CE The contract and rest rictions on the property were agreeable to us. However when the time came for us to sign the final agreement the wording and restrictions were changed so we di d not sign. The reason for the CE was to mitigate damages done by another property owner to his property and he hired a company to write the contract. The company was getti ng a lot of money to find owners to sign CEs so be CAREFUL and read the fine print! 793: Most farmland in Fla will soon be subdivided if not protected with conservation easements 932: Conservationists should be awar e of all invasive species, es pecially the most recent. Many rules (wetlands for example) have the effect of harboring these species. In my lifetime the ability 199

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to manage land has drastically ch anged. Fire ants, Chin ese tallow, soda apple, wild hogs have made the effort hours vs. profitability meager. For ranch life to continue help is needed to combat issues such as these. Restrictions can tie your hands when there is a war going on against new invasive species. 503: If a CE contract was in force, would the pr operty owner be allowed to do a '1031' exchange for out of state property? My le vel of trust in CEs would decreas e if the government were highly involved because of the likelihood of political influence and whim. 986: As a tool to control development, CEs work we ll. As a tool to facili tate the continuation of ranching/farming in FLORIDA, they are only a sm all piece of the puzzle. More resources need to be directed towards keeping ranching and farm ing profitableif my fa rm/ranch is profitable then it will continue indefin itely!! National food security shou ld be a public concern that translates into public support of Fl farm ing and ranching. I begged both government and conservation groups to help me and my fellow landowners 'preserve' about 9,000 acres of productive farmland near Biscayne Nati onal Park for about $135,000,000.00. Eventually by 2005 about 1/3 of this land had $1,000,000,000 (a billi on dollars) of development covering it and no more potato industry in S Fl. CEs can be great but are just one tool to help preserve ag. 869: I have had to borrow the money to obtain a farm to raise my children and become a farmer. I will have to have a non-ag job to pay for financ ing and give the land to my kids who can farm if they would like to. Selling th e development rights would allow me to be a full-time farmer in my lifetime. 257: Most people in my position have a problem with the permanent factor. I don't know what my kids will want to do with the land. I don' t think as time goes by that a CE will hold-up. The government is unlikely to allow ag to remain wh en conservation agencies apply their power. Ag and nature go hand in hand, ranchers know that. Nature lovers as a whole don't know that we help nature. If the U.S. doesn't look, at what it 's doing, we will be on our knees trying to get food from countries that protected its farmers and ranchers rather than its 'nature' free of cattle and farmsfree of food production! 748: I own 50 acres, 30 in pasture, 6 citrus, 6 fernery. I am one mile from the Lake Woodruff. NWR and the city is bringing water to the corn er of my property. Agri cultural assessments currently protect the tax advant ages. I want to preserve the current state put offer limited development at the periphery. I have thought about conservation easements but do not want to limit future family members' ability to build a homestead and live on th e property. I appreciate this opportunity to learn mo re about CEs. 636: I do not feel the government shoul d own too much landtoo much control. 688: The farm and ranch land protection program is the CE that would appeal to me. I would basically like to give up my development rights for a price to be able to preserve the property for cattle ranching and wildlife. 680: Most of our property is either conn ected to or surrounded by state forest. 200

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609: Do not trust government agencies to be fair about control of land. 774: I don't like perpetual. I don't want to dictate to my children their use of the land. The future of ag in Florida is questionable. Agencies do a poor job of maintaining ag land and spend too many tax dollars doing it. 613: We have in the past spent over a year ne gotiating with SWFMD the terms of a conservation easement. We feel that in giving up the develo pment rights, we would be giving up 75-80% of the land value. At the time we were willing to accept a 50% payment but were only offered about 25% of the value of the land. The value has only gone up since then. We feel that the district's attitude is to buy from people w ho are in a jam and low-ball the price. We were not in dire straits, so we walked away. State or private agenci es should be willing to pay a fair price for a CE. Outstanding opportunities can be lost with th e passing of time. CEs that can be bought now at bargain prices may not be available to purchas e when a landowner dies and the heirs decide to maximize income later when the property has appr eciated 50-100% in value. Purchasing a CE to protect land and retain its ag production and tax value is a bargain, but is not supposed to be cheap. 588: Any county or state land in our area are poo rly managed. The Federal lands are somewhat managed and the public is allowed to have acce ss. County and state lands in most cases the public is denied entrance. Private lands that ha ve conservation easements have not had too much interference to their usual ranching and farming practices. In other areas of the country there are horror stories. 528: This small ranch came from the mind of an eight year old boy, raised on the edge of the everglades in Dade County, Fl. I do love my an imals and land. I enjoy to maintain and keep up the land. I am now 68 years of age and can no longer go for 10-14 hours per day. I am in the process of liquidating my ranch. So far private se ctor has not responded to my acceptance as to their buying it. I have single family homes on three sides of me. A hospital and support commercial on the north side of my property. Right now I am keeping approx 45-50 acres in natural state of open Fl land as well as an open natural water recharge area in the middle of suburbia. I do need to slow downheat almost took me out last Saturday working cows. I am open to a reasonable offer. Feel fr ee to contact me for purchaseit is sure needed in this area as a set aside land for public use. I personally put all my savings and my retirement into my land. If you are serious about purchasing this land, please contact me. 638: The value placed on development rights is lower than acceptable to me. My ranch is within a few miles of urban development and, I feel, is worth 75% of appraise d value for sale of development rights. Negotiators offer only 50-60%. 163: We only own 30 acres. I don't think it would be economically feasible for the USDA to acquire a conservation easement over our land if our neighbors were not included. 622: Know what you want and remain firm. I worked with Janice Alicon and Bob Clark and we worked well together. 201

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161: I have read several articles in magazines about CEs and belie ve they are an important part of our system to preserve ranch land and agricu ltural property for future generations and to protect our wildlife habitats. 539: I believe CEs are an important tool to be us ed by today's society to help protect green space and the less intensive use of land in general. Some of this use will include agricultural uses, and that of course, is a good thing because agricultu re is fundamentally im portant to society. I believe we must strive for more 'agricultura l oriented' CEs; ones that would allow more aggressive ag uses (not just gr azing and timber). There are great advantages to the landowner for the use of non-perpetual easements instead of pe rpetual. We most move toward market-based values for CEs. Transfer of development rights in the private sector should command higher sale values for the conveyance of density and with regu latory oversight should result in acceptable growth management activity. 80: All in favor of it. We have discussed option in family mtg with our family's attorney present. 608: CE should be leased, no longer than a generati on at a time. On most all of these types of regulation it only takes one act of co ngress to change the whole system. 86: Conservation groups have been high-jacked by extremists and vegans whose main goal is to eliminate animal production farms. Therefore, I am somewhat leery of entering into agreements limiting my property rights until this extremist vi ew has been properly addressed. At one point in time I would have been proud to be called a conservationist. 716: I am basically 'anti' government owners hip of land. Too much of our land has been purchased with tax dollars, removed from the tax rolls, and not maintained properly and removed from agricultural production. This concept could be the answer, if preservation of agriculture and our ability to feed our citizens is the main objective, not just conservation or nature. The US sugar buy-out is an example. We will now be depe ndent on foreign sugar, in order to preserve the everglades. When we become as dependent on foreign food as we are on foreign energy our great nation becomes weaker. 56: We have had stewardship of this beautiful pi ece of Florida, transferring it from bush to grazing. My late husband mentioned a hope not to be covered with houses. There are cattle on it now and being maintained. I have the land and intend to stay. This is my largest asset. I do not know what my needs will be in the future. It is good to consider options of things possible and available. 216: I have sold 500 acres of approx 2000 acres to CCC/NRCS for a WRP (at a low price). I would consider selling the rest to NRCS if th ey would use market price which is now 15-20k per acre. I would get it done while I am in contro lI don't think my 2 children would agree in the future. However, any sale of a conservation ea sement would require our continued personal use as a cattle ranch and hunting preserve. 202

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429: Conservation easements I feel are good if agri cultural activities can c ontinue. There is some concern with placing a piece of land under an easement. Will the environmentalists hound you to death? My idea of a perfect cons ervation easement is to continue my ranching activities free of worry just as I always do. 256: CEs are a great way for a rancher to get mo ney (for living) so he can afford to keep ranching. Yes, some cattlemen became wealthy enough to give away vast acreage to "conservationists," but most rich cattlemen di dn't make their money selling cattle. In my experience, when the state of FL takes over ra nchland, they ruin itit no longer is wildlife habitatthe reason they wanted it. It becomes flooded during the summer (they don't believe in ditches) and overgrown with nonnative speciesbecause the mor ons won't burn it right (or not at all). By the way, an awful lot of money is be ing spent on "FL panther" habitat preservation in southwest Florida. There are no more native Fl pantherthose are ex tincthowever there are lots of crossbred Texas cougars in Fl living on public we lfare as Fl cats. 848: It probably has a place, but, I would choose to be flexible and the word 'forever' makes me uncomfortable. 347: There are several alternative ways to acco mplish this very desirable commitment. Although I have been politically active in the past, I totally distrust this procedure because it is a political solution to a very serious problem. As cynical as it sounds, politicians are crooks and will alter the rules to their advantage once I (or my fa mily) make a binding commitment. Try zoning. Try outright purchase (one block at a time). 756: I have a basic total distrust of government and systems of man. At the rate of destruction of our historical values and traditions, coupled w ith the failure to control our borders and the importing of third world races and classes of people, none of this will matter. Our Republic will be destroyed. To prevent farmers from beco ming extinct and food goods coming from sources outside of the U.S., farming must be made lucrative: No taxes; No estate taxes; Fees paid to landowners per acre, variable ra tes per crop or fallow. The land would then have a value worth conserving and motivation to not develop. 934: Would like to attend a workshop. 566: I have done several conservation easements with DEP on the property, working on several more at this time. We will be developing part of the landof the 18,000 acresaround 5-6,000 will be developed with the rest being in ag and open green space. On the residential area we will be using the new urban concept. Cluster subdivisions w/ 100's of acres of open green space around each one. Conservation easements allow the fa mily farm to continue, keeps it on the tax role. The state needs to do morethey can 't manage the land they already own!!! 352: This is all new to me. I would be interested in hearing more. 508: Good program that we might consider on down the road. Premature at this point since we are moving into an expansion phase. 203

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63: The state of Florida will not be happy until farming + ranching are completely out of business and the state is completely "Mickey Moused." Government right now could, by false "eminent domain," take any property they desire. A conservation easement is only good until some government wants to do something with that property that the owner has not been allowed to do. This is supposed to be a free country w ith rights to own propert y. Most property owners take excellent care of their property. It is their liveli hood and their asset. 115: This is a "walk in the dark" for me, but I feel VERY strongly about keeping urban development from taking over our farm/ranch land. Urban development has pushed land prices TOO HIGH for farmers/ranchers to buy land at inflated prices than pay for it with what the land produces. Another thing that chap s me is the "death tax." That needs to be done away with entirely! It should be illegal. It is BEYOND DOUBLE TAXATION. If urban development and the death tax or estate taxes were put in check there might be a po ssibility agriculture as we have known it could continue. Without those things bei ng stopped, agriculture will only continue with mega corporations. There will be no more family farms such as the one we have now. If conservation easements will contribute to the furt herance of my heritage I am all for taking a close look. 60: All farm/ranch agricultural programs require conservation easements. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. EPA through the "C lean Water Act" require designations of "wetlands" and "waters of the Un ited States" under secti ons 401 & 404 of the "Clean Water Act" Fines of $50,000 and $25,000 and minimum of 5 years in prison per day/per offence are provided resulting in citizens of Fl in prison today for failure to take out a permit or go through a 5-10 year process for permitting any activity on thei r land with the U.S. Army Corps. Also fines from the EPA are based upon the value of the entire property if an offense has been alleged. The state and federal agricultural pr ograms are going to be requiring a fine from the property owner that signs up for a programthen opts out or recons iders due to lack of fa ir disclosure of the threatened rule/regulation, perpetual oversight, and chance of losing ones property from fines, and on classification of some portions as "wetlands" allowing perpetual regulatory oversight by U.S. EPA & U.S. Army Corps of Engineers und er the U.S. clean water act. The uninformed military officers of the U.S. Corps are liars in Florida and Georgia and should be demoted and should be given quarterly liar detection tests. 424: I think it is a great idea. We applied for PD R consideration at our Broward County level but the funds were very limited and we did not get chosen 158: In my opinion, most of the time a developer can and will give more than state or any agency will, so the risk to keep out of development is greater than the gain. I feel the state or Federal Gov. should step in and stop development or issuing permits. In my opinion way too much development already. 923: I am in the process of selling 200 acres to Water Management 976: I think that they would not be binding to the government year s later when it decides that it needs that land for some other use. Therefore, why give up your rights nowor your children's rightsto take care of the land as they wish. One example that comes to my mind is the 204

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treatment of the land here along the river. It used to be that you could take your children there to camp, hunt, fish, and swim. Now the roads are blocked, the gates locked and the only ones allowed in are govt. people or by special permit. B ecause of that I am agai nst it. The potential for abuse is great. 829: Because my farmland is located in rural areas of the Northwest Panhandle of the state (Jackson and Holmes Counties), there is no emin ent threat of urbanization swallowing us up. Therefore, I am sure that I feel differently a bout the concept of CEs than those folks in other areas of the state where the situa tion is drastically different. That said, I still don't think that I would ever be in favor of putting any on my land, no matter its location. I understand the concept as a way to legally restrict one's land from future development. That may sound good on first mention, but I think that is selfish an d unreasonable. Why would anyone want to restrict/dominate/designate very limite d uses that could be made of the property for future generations? There is no way for one gene ration to foresee how the needs and wishes of future generations might change and their opinions of using their inher ited land to suit their circumstances would have been taken away from th em if its original owner had entered into a CE agreement. If I were inheriting property, I certainly wouldnt want it to be le gally restricted as to what I could or could not do with it. And, I doubt ve ry seriously that I would ever be interested in purchasing land that had such restrictions. At least with typical zoning restrictions, a property owner has the option of requesting a zoning change as his needs change. I can envision too many scenarios where a CE would be a disaster because of its preventing later owners to use the land as they might see fit to m eet their special needs. For instance, there might be a family-owned property with current owners being a husband and wife with two sons. The parents want the sons to inheri t the land so they can continue operating the farm as it has been for years, so the parents put th e land in a CE agreement. Howeve r, both sons die prior to the parents and leave no grandchildren or they do leave gra ndchildren and they ar e not interested in farming for a living or watching th e land lay there as a refuge for wildlife or open space only. Suppose the grandchildren live stat es away and havent ever vi sited the farm often enough to bond with the land. When the grandparents die and the grandchildren inher it that land, they dont want to live on it, manage it, or be bothered wi th it in any way. They would like to sell the land to a developer for a new housing area which is badl y needed in that area. Because of the existing CE, they would be prohibited from selling the la nd to a developer, but those few individuals who might utilize the land for farming and would understa nd that the CE entered into years prior is part of the deal, cant afford to pay as good a price as the develope r could. Naturally, the grandchildren want as much money for the land as they can get. The existing CE would be a great injustice to the gr andchildren, in my opinion. Some of the land I own was inheri ted from my parents, but I am thankful that it was not tied up with some binding agreement that they made years ago and which dict ate how I can use it! I intend to pass that property along to my son, who is an only chil d, unmarried, and childless, and is currently managing it for agri cultural purposes. If/w hen his needs and wishes change, I think he should have total control over what he does with the property. In my thinking, it would be selfish for me to enter into an agreement now that would limit his op tions 25 years from now! 205

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It is understandable that some i ndividuals may want to put their property into a CE agreement, and that should be their right, but such an obligation doesn t fit my philosophy. 62: Enough rules and regulations on property owners now! 90: We are retired and only have a few cows, horses, and chickens. We have a stewardship landowner forest. We strongly support making our property wildlife friendly. I think conservation easements are a great tool. With the economy so uncertain, I think decisions to enter into these agreements may be delayed. 859: These people that claim to be conservationists are mostly extreme radical individuals that have never owned or operated a farm and ranch. The farm or ranch is the owners livelihood and we always take care of preserving water, wild life and the land. Anytime the gov. or state gets involved in something like this it gets neglected. The land also ge ts taken off the tax rolls and no money is generated from ownership. My family ha s been ranching in Florida for 5 generations in Volusia County, Seminole County and Hamilton Count y! We have always considered ourselves the original environmentalists and protected our la nd. There is no way that I or any of my family would enter into a CE unless they were fo rced to by the state or local government. 196: I dont need any more government restrictions or intrusion in my life or business. I have seen politicians change the 2010 land use plans with the stroke of a pen and a vote. So you have to excuse me if I dont trust government. I love my country but I fear my government! 106: This is the most ridiculous thing Ive hear d of in a long time. There is such thing as too much of a good thing. The EPA, environmentalists, animal rights, tree huggers, greenies will be the downfall of the U.S.A. Best of luck in your Ph.D. endeavor. 666: We put 2/3 of our ranch in CE. Kept 1/3 out. I feel that fee simple CE should be put or kept in production To let property grow up in dog fennel, etc. is not good conservation! 661: I feel CE should not be perpetual. I also feel that it should left up to the land owner as to how the land is used as long as it is kept in Ag. production. 579: There are certain tracts of land I think CE s are good for, but the idea that CEs are going to save the ranch are not true. The rancher will surv ive, the rancher that is selling his development rights is not going to develop his place. The land that is owned by people ready to cash in and retire, CEs dont provide enough income to make th e lifestyle change they want (in general). 21: My husband has been extremely ill. He suffe red an aorta dissection in Feb But he answered this questionnaire, with me reading hi m the questions. He was pleased to have some input in this issue and in general thinks these easements can be very good. Thank you! 599: My concern for a CE is what choices ar e taken away from/for the next generation. Economic factors change, ideas change. Many op tions would be taken away for the next generations, for instance one of our family memb ers desperately needs to sell their land due to 206

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severe health issues. They need the money. We would need to know wh at are the long-term agreements etc. 671: The conservation easements sounds like a great idea but here in Hillsborough County money and development are the priority. I wouldnt be likely to enter a C.E. agreement because I dont want to have any restrictions if I have to sell. Development around us was in high gear till the recent downturn in the economy. Here deve lopers have enough influe nce to have the tax collector deny our greenbelt exemption when I told them to stop bothering my 90 yr old grandmother we werent going to sell out and th ey couldnt make us. Their response was well we will see. Your neighbor said the same thi ng and now we own his property. I wish you luck with your study and I hope the C.E. program works but I dont think its in my familys best interest. Respectfully yours, R.A. 656: Ours is such a small farm it probably woul d not e a likely candidate for a conservation easement. At our ages we will sell before too many years; our daughter w ill not be in a position to carry on. 955: I have been a member of the Suwannee River Resource, Conservation, and Development Council for 35 years. I am current ly the vice president. We s upport and encourage landowners and others to support conservation practices. 146: Any agreement that would require me to give up control of any portion of or future uses of my familys property does not appear to be of any interest to me at this time. 570: A 10 to 20 year C.E. would be the best for me and many people I know! 819: We have a 40 acre ranchette. We are out in the rural arealive on a dirt road, near Lake Seminole. We would like our place to remain a c ountry rural area. But our kids, some of them may eventually build a home on the 40 acres. We do not want someone telling us what to do with our land. It is agriculture and will remain so or so we hope, the only difference is some small parcel to be allocated for our kids if they so desi re to build a home or place a trailer in which to live. 665: I feel that conservation ease ments are a good way to keep agri culture active! Since it is the most important industry in the world! Anything to help keep it in production is a good step in the right direction! We need more grazing and ag land in use in this state! 446: It gives too much control to government 662: As a family we have asked for a 20 or 30 ye ar C.E. instead of a perpetual easement. Also, there is a state buy-out next to the farm. We have asked for trad e of easement from us for ag easement of joining land. There have b een no responses from any state agent. 999: The problem with the majority of conservation easements is that they seek to preserve land by looking over the owners shoulder. Inspections are a part of most, if not all, of current conservation easements. Given the independent nature of ranchers and ranching in general, 207

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208 landowners are loathe to agreem ents which allow additional entit ies to have additional control over their actions and/or business. They particular ly resent this overseeing because their actions and/or their familys actions have resulted in their property being desira ble for conservation and the entities that would presume to tell them what to do have had no part in their lands current condition. The rancher is in a very unique positio n: His land is desirable enough to conserve yet he lives there and has his business there. Ther e are few, if any, other businesses that allow wildlife to commingle with busin ess products as in ranching. There is no wildlife in the local shopping malls or industrial parks, yet ranchers are already not developing their land, making a living off of it, and for the most part handing it over to the next generation. Yet, conservation easements presume to tell them what they can or cannot do. The best scen ario for the success of conservation easements is for the la ndowner to sell development rights only (at a price matching development price) or be able to donate them to an entity without annual or any inspections. 419: These types of things usually end up s ounding great in the beginning but end up a nightmare for the rancher. Rancher have the ability to operate as needed taken away to the point they are inhibited or crippled in their operation. Ranch are tr ying to be conservationist to preserve the old Fl and this way of life.

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Cordano, M., & Frieze, I. H. (2000). Pollution reduction preferences of U.S. environmental managers: Applying Ajzen's theory of planned behavior. Academy of Management Journal, 43, 627-641. Crocker, L., & Algina, J. (1986). Introduction to classical and modern test theory Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Group/Thomson Learning. Crotty, M. (2003). The foundations of social research: Me aning and perspective in the research process. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Daniels, T.L. (1991). The purchase of development rights. Journal of the American Planning Association, 57 (4), 421-452. Davis, J.A. (1971). Elementary survey analysis Englewood, NJ: Prentice-Hall. De Groot, J.I., & Steg, L. (2007). Value orientatio ns and environmental beliefs in five countries: Validity of an instrument to measure egoistic altruistic and biospheric value orientations. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 38 (3), 318-332. De Young, R. (2000). Expanding and evaluating motives for environmentally responsible behavior. Journal of Social Issues, 56 (3), 509-526. Decker, D.J., Brown, T.L., & Siemer, W.F. (Eds.). (2001). Human dimensions of wildlife management in North America Bethesda, MD: The Wildlife Society. Dillman, D.A. (2007). Mail and internet surveys: The tailored design method (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc. Eagly, A.H., & Chaiken, S. (1993). The psychology of attitudes Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. Elconin, P., & Luzadis, V. (1997). Evaluating landowner satisfaction with conservation restrictions. Syracuse, NY: College of Environm ental Science and Forestry, State University of New York, and Mont pelier, VT: Vermont Land Trust. Ely, M., Anzul, M., Friedman, T., Garner, D., & Steinmetz, A.M. (1991). Doing qualitative research: Circles within circles. London: Falmer. Feather, P., & Bernard, C.H. (2003). Retaining open space with purchasable development rights programs. Review of Agricultural Economics 25 (2), 369-384. Fishbein, M. (1967). Attitude and the predic tion of behavior. In M. Fishbein (Ed.), Readings in attitude theory and measurement (pp. 477-492). New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, attitude, intention and behavior: An introduction to theory and research Reading, MA: Addison-We sley Publishing Company. 212

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Roslynn G.H. Brain grew up in Sheffield, Onta rio, Canada. For her undergraduate studies, she attended the University of Guelph where sh e majored in European Studies and minored in German. During her undergraduate studies, Roslynn played varsity rugby and competed in track and field, and she lived in Germany for a year on an exchange with Konstanz Universitt. After completing her Bachelors degree, Roslynn enrolled in the M.S. program in Rural Extension Studies at the University of Guelph. He r masters research i nvolved public awareness of biotechnology, food irradiation, and organic food in Oxford County, Ontario. During her masters research, Roslynn worked for a farmer s cooperative as a crop scout and for the Region of Waterloo on a redundant food tr ade study. Also at this time, she partook in a week-long agricultural exchange with the University of Fl orida, where she discovered the graduate program in Agricultural Extension. Upon finishing her M.S. degree, Roslynn attended the University of Florida in pursuit of her Ph.D. in agricultura l extension with a minor in envi ronmental education. While at the University of Florida, Roslynn was provided with the opportunity to teach public speaking. Nothing was more rewarding to her than watching students grow from being shy and lacking in confidence to discovering a hidden ability of speaking effectively in front of an audience. It was also at the University of Florida where Ro slynn was able to resear ch her passion of land conservation and sustainability. It is her dream as a professor to help provide landowners with attractive alternatives to selli ng their land to development in attempt to slow the amount of farmland being lost to urbanization.