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

Pfrimmer, J., Gigliotti, L., Stafford, J., Schumann, D., & Bertrand, K. (2017). Motivations for enrollment into the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program in the James River Basin of South Dakota. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 22(4):382-389.


Landowner perceptions of conservation programs are highly complex, which complicates recruitment to and satisfaction with available programs. The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) targets high-priority conservation needs (e.g., water quality, wildlife habitat) by paying landowners an annual rental rate to remove environmentally sensitive or agriculturally unproductive lands from rowcrop production and to implement conservation practices on these lands. Herein, we describe the motivations of South Dakota landowners in the James River Basin for enrolling in the CREP. All 517 newly-enrolled landowners were mailed a questionnaire in 2014, measuring participant demographics, behaviors, opinions and motivations (60% response rate). We evaluated ten motivations for enrollment in CREP and used a cluster analysis to identify three unique respondent orientations (wildlife enhancement, financial incentive, and environmental concern). Understanding landowner enrollment decision criteria will advance strategies to increase participation and satisfaction in future platforms.