Community Attachment and Stewardship Identity Influence Responsibility to Manage Wildlife

Adam C. Landon, David C. Fulton, Amit K. Pradhananga, Luis Cornicelli, Mae A. Davenport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Managing wildlife in landscapes under private ownership requires partnership between landowners, resource users, and governing agencies. Agencies often call on landowners to voluntarily change their practices to achieve collective goals. Landowner support for management action is partially a function of normative beliefs about managing wildlife. Understanding factors that support development of normative beliefs is important for program design, with implications beyond deer. Drawing on norm activation theory, identity theory, and community attachment, we hypothesized that landowners’ ascription of responsibility to manage deer were a function of their identity as a wildlife steward and attachment to their community. We tested our hypotheses using structural equation modeling with data from a survey of southeast Minnesota landowners. Results revealed ascribed responsibility to be a function of identity. In turn, identity was predicted by affect toward the community. Findings suggest community-based approaches to wildlife management could improve goal achievement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-584
Number of pages14
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Identity
  • private landowner
  • public perception
  • upper Midwest
  • white-tailed deer


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