Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Minnesota
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Minnesota Project

Assessing the preferences of stakeholders and waterfowl management professionals to inform the implementation of the NAWMP Action Plan

June 2015 - September 2018


Participating Agencies

  • National Flyway Council

This project addresses three key research activities associated with a broader proposal by the National Flyway Council’s Human Dimensions Working Group (HDWG) to conduct research involving key stakeholders and the general public in the U.S. and Canada that will inform implementation of the NAWMP Action Plan. The broader objectives are to: 1. Assess what hunters and other waterfowl conservationists (i.e., members of organizations supporting migratory bird conservation including viewers) most desire from their natural resource based management and social settings to inform NAWMP objectives and select habitat and population management alternatives. 2. Establish baseline measures that can be repeated to inform the development of a Public Engagement Strategy and monitor trends in achieving the NAWMP goal of “growing numbers of waterfowl hunters, other conservationists, and citizens who enjoy and actively support waterfowl and wetlands conservation.” 3. Assess waterfowl hunters’ knowledge, preferences, levels of use, and support for waterfowl and wetlands conservation. 4. Assess other waterfowl conservationists’ knowledge, preferences, levels of use and support for waterfowl and wetlands conservation. 5. Assess the general publics’ awareness and their perceptions regarding the importance of the benefits and values (i.e., Ecological Goods and Services - EGS) provided by waterfowl and wetlands conservation. 6. Assess the general publics’ participation in waterfowl-associated recreation and how much they support waterfowl and wetlands conservation. 7. Assess waterfowl professionals’ perspectives on the levels of waterfowl populations and habitats needed to support hunter and viewer use opportunities. In summary, two continental U.S.-wide surveys will be conducted with waterfowl hunters and other waterfowl recreationists. The proposed research will be conducted in coordination with other research conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Fort Collins Science Center and by researchers in Canada. Expected outcomes: 1) Quantified waterfowl management professionals’ preferences regarding the desired future states relative to the three goals of NAWMP. 2) Quantified stakeholder preferences regarding what they desire in regards to their recreational experiences (hunting and viewing). 3) Foundations to develop explicit and transparent population, habitat, and people objectives (or at least define the tradeoffs) based on the quantified expressed preferences of waterfowl management professionals and stakeholders. 4) Foundations to select management alternatives that are most responsive to stakeholder desires and most likely to help achieve NAWMP objectives relating to people. 5) Segmentation of stakeholder groups based on types of participation (e.g., viewing and/or hunting), geographic location, engagement in conservation, knowledge of waterfowl and/or ecological goods and services of waterfowl habitats, and demographic characteristics. 6) Quantification of the general public’s participation in waterfowl and wetlands based activities, their awareness and perceptions of ecological goods and services and their evaluation of the