Landholder participation in native vegetation management in irrigation areas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Landholder adoption of conservation practices has been extensively researched in dryland areas, but there has been less research into the adoption of biodiversity conservation in irrigation areas. The Murray Catchment Management Authority (MCMA) and Murray Irrigation Limited (MIL) in south-west NSW offer landholders monetary incentives to enhance native vegetation management. However, uptake of the incentives and recommended practices has been slower in the irrigation areas than in dryland areas serviced by the MCMA. We explored landholder participation in native vegetation management in the MIL area using semi-structured interviews with landholders and extension staff. Our findings suggest there are important differences between irrigation and dryland contexts. Landholders in irrigation districts face higher opportunity-costs and are more likely to mistrust government intentions. Other constraints to adoption include lack of financial resources and time to carry out works and a high turnover of extension staff. Landholders adopted recommended vegetation management practices because those practices matched their values and goals. The importance of regular contact with a positive and enthusiastic extension officer was also evident. These findings have important implications for conservation policies and programs. Extension should move beyond arousing interest and include substantial follow-up contact to maintain landholder motivation and confidence, as well as provide recognition for past landholder efforts. Incentive programs should be designed to provide wider landholder support with different entry points allowing participants to adapt, learn and build confidence. Incentives should address the constraints experienced by landholders, particularly at times of peak workloads and during drought. Work targets set for field staff can be too high and result in program staff focusing on accomplishing on-ground work, rather than developing irrigators’ longer-term commitment to vegetation conservation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-48
Number of pages7
JournalEcological Management and Restoration
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007

Fingerprint

irrigation management
irrigation
vegetation
incentive
arid lands
catchment
opportunity costs
conservation practices
participation
interviews
management practice
turnover
drought
biodiversity
resource
cost
programme

Cite this

@article{1bbb97ae37884abca9eae3b3d550ce56,
title = "Landholder participation in native vegetation management in irrigation areas",
abstract = "Landholder adoption of conservation practices has been extensively researched in dryland areas, but there has been less research into the adoption of biodiversity conservation in irrigation areas. The Murray Catchment Management Authority (MCMA) and Murray Irrigation Limited (MIL) in south-west NSW offer landholders monetary incentives to enhance native vegetation management. However, uptake of the incentives and recommended practices has been slower in the irrigation areas than in dryland areas serviced by the MCMA. We explored landholder participation in native vegetation management in the MIL area using semi-structured interviews with landholders and extension staff. Our findings suggest there are important differences between irrigation and dryland contexts. Landholders in irrigation districts face higher opportunity-costs and are more likely to mistrust government intentions. Other constraints to adoption include lack of financial resources and time to carry out works and a high turnover of extension staff. Landholders adopted recommended vegetation management practices because those practices matched their values and goals. The importance of regular contact with a positive and enthusiastic extension officer was also evident. These findings have important implications for conservation policies and programs. Extension should move beyond arousing interest and include substantial follow-up contact to maintain landholder motivation and confidence, as well as provide recognition for past landholder efforts. Incentive programs should be designed to provide wider landholder support with different entry points allowing participants to adapt, learn and build confidence. Incentives should address the constraints experienced by landholders, particularly at times of peak workloads and during drought. Work targets set for field staff can be too high and result in program staff focusing on accomplishing on-ground work, rather than developing irrigators’ longer-term commitment to vegetation conservation.",
keywords = "Open access version available, Biodiversity conservation, Irrigation, Landholder adoption, Murray Irrigation., Native vegetation",
author = "Emily Mendham and Joanne Millar and Allan Curtis",
note = "Imported on 12 Apr 2017 - DigiTool details were: month (773h) = April; Journal title (773t) = Ecological Management and Restoration. ISSNs: 1442-7001;",
year = "2007",
month = "4",
doi = "10.1111/j.1442-8903.2007.00331.x",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
pages = "42--48",
journal = "Ecological Management and Restoration",
issn = "1442-7001",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Landholder participation in native vegetation management in irrigation areas

AU - Mendham, Emily

AU - Millar, Joanne

AU - Curtis, Allan

N1 - Imported on 12 Apr 2017 - DigiTool details were: month (773h) = April; Journal title (773t) = Ecological Management and Restoration. ISSNs: 1442-7001;

PY - 2007/4

Y1 - 2007/4

N2 - Landholder adoption of conservation practices has been extensively researched in dryland areas, but there has been less research into the adoption of biodiversity conservation in irrigation areas. The Murray Catchment Management Authority (MCMA) and Murray Irrigation Limited (MIL) in south-west NSW offer landholders monetary incentives to enhance native vegetation management. However, uptake of the incentives and recommended practices has been slower in the irrigation areas than in dryland areas serviced by the MCMA. We explored landholder participation in native vegetation management in the MIL area using semi-structured interviews with landholders and extension staff. Our findings suggest there are important differences between irrigation and dryland contexts. Landholders in irrigation districts face higher opportunity-costs and are more likely to mistrust government intentions. Other constraints to adoption include lack of financial resources and time to carry out works and a high turnover of extension staff. Landholders adopted recommended vegetation management practices because those practices matched their values and goals. The importance of regular contact with a positive and enthusiastic extension officer was also evident. These findings have important implications for conservation policies and programs. Extension should move beyond arousing interest and include substantial follow-up contact to maintain landholder motivation and confidence, as well as provide recognition for past landholder efforts. Incentive programs should be designed to provide wider landholder support with different entry points allowing participants to adapt, learn and build confidence. Incentives should address the constraints experienced by landholders, particularly at times of peak workloads and during drought. Work targets set for field staff can be too high and result in program staff focusing on accomplishing on-ground work, rather than developing irrigators’ longer-term commitment to vegetation conservation.

AB - Landholder adoption of conservation practices has been extensively researched in dryland areas, but there has been less research into the adoption of biodiversity conservation in irrigation areas. The Murray Catchment Management Authority (MCMA) and Murray Irrigation Limited (MIL) in south-west NSW offer landholders monetary incentives to enhance native vegetation management. However, uptake of the incentives and recommended practices has been slower in the irrigation areas than in dryland areas serviced by the MCMA. We explored landholder participation in native vegetation management in the MIL area using semi-structured interviews with landholders and extension staff. Our findings suggest there are important differences between irrigation and dryland contexts. Landholders in irrigation districts face higher opportunity-costs and are more likely to mistrust government intentions. Other constraints to adoption include lack of financial resources and time to carry out works and a high turnover of extension staff. Landholders adopted recommended vegetation management practices because those practices matched their values and goals. The importance of regular contact with a positive and enthusiastic extension officer was also evident. These findings have important implications for conservation policies and programs. Extension should move beyond arousing interest and include substantial follow-up contact to maintain landholder motivation and confidence, as well as provide recognition for past landholder efforts. Incentive programs should be designed to provide wider landholder support with different entry points allowing participants to adapt, learn and build confidence. Incentives should address the constraints experienced by landholders, particularly at times of peak workloads and during drought. Work targets set for field staff can be too high and result in program staff focusing on accomplishing on-ground work, rather than developing irrigators’ longer-term commitment to vegetation conservation.

KW - Open access version available

KW - Biodiversity conservation

KW - Irrigation

KW - Landholder adoption

KW - Murray Irrigation.

KW - Native vegetation

U2 - 10.1111/j.1442-8903.2007.00331.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1442-8903.2007.00331.x

M3 - Article

VL - 8

SP - 42

EP - 48

JO - Ecological Management and Restoration

JF - Ecological Management and Restoration

SN - 1442-7001

IS - 1

ER -