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Dueling land ethics: uncovering agricultural stakeholder mental models to better understand recent land use conversion

By B. L. Turner, M. Wuellner, T. Nichols, R. Gates

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The aim of this paper is to investigate how alternative land ethics of agricultural stakeholders may help explain recent land use changes. The paper first explores the historical development of the land ethic concept in the United States and how those ethics have impacted land use policy and use of private lands. Secondly, primary data gathered from semi-structured interviews of farmers, ranchers, and influential stakeholders are then analyzed using stakeholder analysis methods to identify major factors considered in land use decisions, priorities of factors of each group, and to define relevant mental models describing each group's view of the land ethic concept. Results show that these stakeholder groups prioritize land use factors qualitatively differently and possess strikingly different land ethics. It is concluded that shifts in stakeholder land ethics have contributed to recent land use changes. Lastly, we discuss how current agricultural policy sends mixed signals about preferred land use and the potential ramifications based on the different land ethics we've described.

Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 27
Issue 5
Pages 831-856
ISBN/ISSN 0893-4282
Publisher Springer
DOI 10.1007/s10806-014-9494-y
Language English
Author Address Natural Resource Management, South Dakota State University, West River Ag Center, 1905 Plaza Blvd., Rapid City, SD 57702,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. agricultural land
  2. Agriculture
  3. APEC countries
  4. Countries
  5. Decision making
  6. Developed countries
  7. Development
  8. Ethics
  9. Land
  10. land policy
  11. Land resources
  12. Land use
  13. natural resources
  14. North America
  15. OECD countries
  16. peer-reviewed
  17. Policy and Planning
  18. Private Sector
  19. stakeholders
  20. United States of America
  1. peer-reviewed