Land of Encroachment: A multi-stakeholder assessment of brush control efforts in New Mexico

TitleLand of Encroachment: A multi-stakeholder assessment of brush control efforts in New Mexico
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsDinan M, Cuttis B.
Conference NameSociety for Rangeland Meetings
Date Published02/16/2020
Conference LocationDenver, CO
ARIS Log Number372998
Keywordsassessment, brush control efforts, Land of Encroachment, multi-stakeholder, New Mexico

The social impacts of ecological restoration are not well understoodYet, social processes are inherently at work while defining and prioritizing desirable landscape change and acceptable levels of intervention. We use a cultural ecosystem service (CES) framework to test the relevance of CES to grassland restoration by contrasting CES values between stakeholders engaged in restoration planning and management and those representing a wider suite of CES. Using semi-structured interviews (n=34), we engage partners in an ongoing restoration initiative (restoration partners) and others who derive cultural value from the landscape (other CES stakeholders) Interview results reveal that ecological change, such as enhanced wildlife habitat and vast, open spaces improve aesthetic value, recreation, and lifestyle CES. Second, management action such as longevity of interventions, restricted access to treatment areas, and federal policy associated with cattle forage hinder these CES as well. Lastly, social processes such as trust in management, attitudes towards stakeholder groups, and differences in perceptions of CES can hinder how people experience the environment. Inclusion of CES leads to holistic management strategies that cater to the entire socio-ecological system. We are currently exploring how stakeholders prioritize CES among other ecosystem services in our study area as well as the spatial distribution of values to see how management can best accommodate diverse perspectives across the landscape.