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

Schroeder, S.A., A.C. Landon, D.C. Fulton, L. McInenly. 2021. Social identity, values, and trust in government: How stakeholder group, ideology, and wildlife value orientations relate to trust in a state agency for wildlife management. Biological Conservation, 261
DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2021.109285


Our objective was to understand how social identity and values influenced general public and stakeholder trust in a state wildlife management agency (SWMA). In particular, we wanted to examine how stakeholder group, ideology, and wildlife value orientation influenced trust in a SWMA. Data were derived from a study of state residents, hunters and livestock producers related to wolf management. Results suggest differences in agency trust correlated with all three factors and the interaction between stakeholder group and wildlife value orientation. Livestock producers reported lower levels of trust in the agency, compared to hunters and the general public. Individuals with conservative or middle-of-the-road ideologies reported less trust in the agency than liberals did. Respondents with traditional wildlife values also had less trust in the agency compared to mutualist, pluralist, and distanced respondents. Results suggested parallels in the ideologies and wildlife value orientations of livestock producers and hunters, although these groups differed significantly in their trust in the agency. Agencies face the challenge of managing common-pool resources for stakeholders who hold different values and ideologies, and who are differentially affected by management decisions.