Landowner Surveys on Ecosystem Services

Compiled by Lilly Zoller with help from members of the National Ecosystem Services Partnership

1. A Survey on Conservation Payments for California Rangelands
Authors:  Timm Kroeger, Ph.D., Frank Casey, Ph.D., Pelayo Alvarez, Ph.D., Molly Cheatum and Lily Tavassoli

This survey explores the potential for developing payments for ecosystem services provided by ranchers in California.  It covers two major topics: ranchers’ involvements in conservation programs and the potential for using ecosystem service payments/markets as an incentive to keep land in ranching.

An Economic Analysis of the Benefits of Habitat Conservation on California Rangelands 

2. Conservation Programs on Private Land: Eastern North Carolina Survey
Authors: Randall Kramer, Nicholas School of the Environment and Aaron Jenkins, Nicholas Institute

This survey assesses conservation programs in the counties of Beaufort, Bertie, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington in North Carolina.  The survey inquires about any existing government conservation payment programs and whether they provide payments for conservation services.  Additionally, the survey assesses landowner interest in ecosystem services payment programs and preferences for what such a program might look like.

Ecosystem Services, Markets, and Red Wolf Habitat: Results from a Farm Operator Survey 

3. Ecosystem Services From Low Input Cropping Systems and the Public’s Willingness to Pay for them
Authors: Huilan Chen, Michigan State University Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics

A survey was conducted as part of a student thesis which examined the public’s willingness to pay for ecosystem services from low input cropping systems.  The survey was distributed via mail to 6000 randomly selected Michigan residents.  The survey utilized the Attribute Based Method (ABM).  It was divided into five sections asking questions about: lake eutrophication and global warming, possible land management programs, proposed land stewardship programs, attitudes toward environmental issues, and demographics.

Ecosystem Services From Low Input Cropping Systems

4. Estimation of the Value of Water Quality Restoration: A Contingent Valuation Study of the Poultney-Mettowee Watershed Basin
Authors:  Brett Dugan, Brandon Gowdy, Brian Kramp, Jenna Calvi, Mary Dewey, Monique  Couture, Irene Holak, Kevin Hart, and Garnet Morgan

This survey, which was originally created for an ecosystem services assessment project by nine students at Green Mountain College, asks landowners from eight towns bordering the Poultney River in Vermont about their willingness to pay for improved water quality in that water body.  A valuation method was employed to elicit willingness to pay for water quality restoration from households.  Actual water quality restoration strategies were also valued individually.  The results indicated that the collective group of survey respondents were willing to pay an average of $150,000 per year to aid water quality in the Poultney.

Estimation of the Value of Water Quality Restoration

5. Evaluating the Forest Stewardship Program through a National Survey of Participating Forest Land Owners
Authors: J. Dixon Esseks, Public Administration Division Northern Illinois University and Robert J. Moulton, Resource Economist Washington Office, Cooperative Forestry USDA Forest

This is a national survey of landowners participating in the Forest Stewardship Program (FSP) of the USDA Forest Service. Launched in 1991, the FSP provides technical assistance through state forestry agencies to help landowners develop management plans for their non-industrial private forestland (NIPF).  The survey’s main purpose was to gather information from the FSP’s clients that would shed light on the program’s effectiveness to date. Extending from late July 1998 through May 1999, the national survey consisted of telephone interviews and mailed-backed questionnaires from over 1,200 forestland owners who participated in the Forest Stewardship Program.

Evaluating the Forest Stewardship Program

6. Landowner Survey in the Chiriquí province of Panama
Authors: Esther Alice Duke, Joshua Goldstein, Ryan Finchum, Tara Teel, Heidi Huber-Stearns, Jorge Pitty, Gladys Beatriz Rodríguez, Samuel Rodríguez, and Luis Olmedo Sánchez

This survey included questions about potential willingness to participate in a variety of payments for ecosystem services (PES) scenarios, familiarity with the PES concept, land use decision making factors, socio-economic status, farm demographics, PES program design preferences, etc.

Survey in the Chiriquí province of Panama (only available in Spanish)

7. New York State Rural Landowner Survey 
Authors: The National Agricultural Statistic Service and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Division of Statistics

This survey was undertaken to provide a comprehensive view of how the current owners of the state’s private open land resources are using their land holdings, and what they plan to do with them.  This survey was conducted via mail to the landowners of 6,600 parcels of land classified by local assessors as agricultural land, rural residences with acreage, other rural land, or private wild and forested land.

Rural Landowner Survey

8. Why Landowners Restore Wetlands: A National Survey
Authors: James L. Pease, Merry L. Rankin, Joel Verdon, and Russell Reisz

Phone interviews were conducted with 305 landowners (within 20 participating states) to assess the strengths and weaknesses of wetland restoration programs of the past 10 years (Wetland Reserve Program, Emergency Wetland Preserve Program and Private Lands Program).  The survey provides quantifiable data on how best to focus future wetland education programs, especially those promoting enrollment of land in wetland conservation programs.

Why Landowners Restore Wetlands: A National Survey