Endangered Species in the Big Woods of Arkansas Public Opinion Survey March 2008

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1 Endangered Species in the Big Woods of Arkansas Public Opinion Survey March 2008 by Survey Research Center Institute of Government University of Arkansas at Little Rock 2801 South University Avenue Little Rock, Arkansas

2 Endangered Species in the Big Woods of Arkansas Public Opinion Survey UALR/IOG Survey Research Center March 2008 Introduction The UALR Institute of Government Survey Research Center (SRC) conducted a telephone survey at the request of the Big Woods of Arkansas Habitat Conservation Plan, which provided funding for the survey. The purpose of the survey was to assess the attitudes and opinions regarding the Ivory-billed Woodpecker and other endangered species in the lower White River basin of Arkansas. The survey was conducted with two groups. One target population was adult Arkansas residents residing in Phillips, Monroe, Woodruff, Desha, Arkansas, and Prairie Counties. These counties generally include the area referred to as the Big Woods. The sample from this population was drawn from a list-assisted random digit-dialing sample purchased from Marketing Systems Group. The other target population was owners of 100 acres or more land in Phillips, Monroe, Woodruff, Desha, Arkansas, or Prairie Counties. The names and addresses for this population were obtained from lists provided by the individual assessor s office for each county with a total of 1,456 unique names and addresses. Phone numbers were appended from a phone match provided by Marketing Systems Group. The survey was conducted between January 7 and February 6, Each sheet in this report contains the question presented to the respondents and a table and chart of the percentage results. The results are broken out for the two groups: 1) 100+ acres landowners and 2) General Public. In addition, result highlights are presented for each question. A total of 790 interviews were conducted; 402 interviews with landowners of 100+ acres and 388 interviews with Big Woods counties residents. The overall response rate for the surveys was 58 percent. With this level of completed interviews, one can say with 95 percent confidence that the margin of sampling error is ± 5 percentage points. Statistical UALR Institute of Government Survey Research Center

3 significance was determined by chi-square analysis on valid responses of the two groups. Based on the size of the data set, the level of statistical significance is designated to be Summary of Findings Overall, the vast majority of all respondents support the conservation of endangered species. The respondents believe they are well informed on conservation efforts with the Ivory-billed Woodpecker and see the laws and regulations associated with endangered species as having no effect on them. Although a majority of all respondents said that they know or have heard that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker has been rediscovered, there is a notable percentage (18%) of 100+ landowners that do not believe in the rediscovery. The 100+ landowners were more than twice as likely than the General Public to not believe the bird was sighted or rediscovered. The majority of respondents in both groups believe that the rediscovery of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker has been good for Arkansas and that the size of public lands should stay the same. About 80 percent of both groups feel that endangered species regulations have not hurt them economically, but 13 percent of the 100+ landowners do feel damaged. Over 55 percent of both groups think that the rediscovery of the Ivorybilled Woodpecker has the potential to help the economy and about the same number feel that tourism has increased in Brinkley. With regard to other endangered species in the area, the majority of both groups think the Red-cockaded Woodpecker should receive the same conservation attention as the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. The groups are less likely to favor the same level of conservation efforts for the freshwater mussels. Around one-half of the 100+ landowners said they thought the government would intervene and take control of their land if an Ivory-billed Woodpecker was discovered on their property. The majority of people in both groups said they would report an Ivory-billed Woodpecker if they saw one on land they own or lease. Nearly one-half of 100+ landowners and around 6 out of 10 of the General Public believe that regulations would have no effect on their hunting or fishing, however, 37 percent of the 100+ landowners and 27 percent of the General Public think that their hunting and/or fishing has been limited. UALR Institute of Government Survey Research Center

4 List Of Questions Location and Size of Land Owned Sheet 1 Likelihood of Government Intervention Sheet 16 Knowledge of Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Sheet 2 Distance from White River Sheet 17 Endangered Species Conservation Sheet 3 Distance from Cache River Sheet 18 Conservation Efforts Sheet 4 Distance from Bayou Deview Sheet 19 Impact of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Sheet 5 Distance from Arkansas River Sheet 20 Size of Public Lands Sheet 6 Bird Watching Sheet 21 Red-cockaded Woodpecker Sheet 7 Fishing Sheet 22 Freshwater Mussels Sheet 8 Hunting Sheet 23 Effect of Laws and Regulations for Endangered Species Sheet 9 Wildlife Watching Sheet 24 Economic Potential Sheet 10 Wildlife Photography Sheet 25 Tourism in Brinkley Sheet 11 Age Sheet 26 Impact of Ivory-billed Woodpecker on Other Animal Species Sheet 12 Education Sheet 27 Impact on Hunting and Fishing Sheet 13 Gender Sheet 28 Land in the White River Basin Sheet 14 AR Game & Fish Commission Rating Sheet 29

5 Land Ownership Approximately how many total acres do you own in in Phillips, Monroe, Woodruff, Desha, Arkansas or Prairie County? Over one half (57%) of the General Public do not own land in the study counties. The remaining 43% of the General Public own up to 99 acres of land in the study counties. Less than 1 acre Between 1-99 acres More than 100 acres Less than 1 acre 0% 14% Between 1-99 acres 0% 28% More than 100 acres 100% 0% Do not own land 0% 57% Don't Know 0% 1% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 1 March 2008

6 Knowledge of Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Please tell me two things you know or have heard about the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. Rediscovered A majority of the all respondents said that they know or have heard that the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker has been rediscovered. There are significant differences between the two groups and their belief as to the Ivory-billed Woodpecker's rediscovery. Overall, around 6 out of 10 of both groups believe the bird has been rediscovered, however the 100+ landowners were more than twice as likely than the General Public to not believe in the rediscovery of the bird. Don't believe bird discovered Knows of bird Rediscovered 60% 56% Don't believe bird discovered 18% 8% Knows of bird 12% 7% Don't Know 9% 29% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 2 March 2008

7 Endangered Species Conservation In general, do you support the conservation of endangered species in Arkansas? Overall, the vast majority of all repondents support the conservation of endangered species. Yes No Yes 89% 79% No 8% 18% Don't Know/Refused 3% 3% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 3 March 2008

8 Conservation Efforts Do you think your state and federal government members have kept you well informed on their conservation efforts with the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker? Seventy percent of the 100+ landowners believe they are well informed and only around 6 out of 10 (59%) of the General Public believe the same. Yes No Yes 70% 59% No 23% 29% Don't Know/Refused 7% 11% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 4 March 2008

9 Impact of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Would you say the rediscovery of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker near Brinkley is good for Arkansas or not good for Arkansas? The majority (74-78%) of those surveyed believe that the rediscovery of the IB Woodpecker has been "Good for Arkansas". Good for Arkansas Not good for Arkansas Don't believe in rediscovery Good for Arkansas 74% 78% Not good for Arkansas 11% 9% Don't believe in rediscovery 6% 3% Don't Know/Refused 9% 10% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 5 March 2008

10 Size of Public Lands Do you think that the size of public lands, such as national wildlife refuges and state wildlife management areas, in the White River Basin region should be increased, decreased, or stay the same? Increased Overall there is a consensus that the size of public lands should "Stay the Same". A large amount of those that think the size should change agree on the direction of change, although there are still differences with the groups. One-fourth (26%) of 100+ landowners but nearly onethird (36%) of the General Public believe that the land should be "Increased". Decreased Stay the same Increased 26% 36% Decreased 6% 4% Stay the same 57% 49% Don't Know/Refused 11% 11% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 6 March 2008

11 Red-cockaded Woodpecker The Red-cockaded Woodpecker is another endangered species in the White River Basin region. Do you think that this species should receive more, less, or the same level of conservation attention as the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker? In regards to the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, the majority of both groups think it should receive the "Same" conservation attention than the IB Woodpecker. More Less Same More 8% 12% Less 24% 13% Same 57% 66% Don't Know/Refused 12% 9% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 7 March 2008

12 Freshwater Mussels The lower White River has three endangered species of freshwater mussels: the Fat Pocketbook, Scaleshell, and Pink Mucket. Do you think that these species should receive more, less, or the same level of conservation attention as the Ivory-billed Woodpecker? More Four (4) out of 10 (40%) 100+ landowners and almost 6 out of 10 (57%) of the General Public feel the attention should be the "Same". Conversely, 4 out of 10 (40%) of 100+ landowners and only around 2 out of 10 (23%) of the General Public said they should receive "Less" attention. Less Same None should get any attention More 5% 8% Less 40% 23% Same 40% 57% None should get any attention 1% 1% Don't Know/Refused 13% 11% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 8 March 2008

13 Effect of Laws and Regulations for Endangered Species Economically, have laws and regulations associated with endangered species helped you, hurt you, or had no effect on you? Overwhelmingly, laws and regulations associated with endangered species are seen as "having no effect" on respondents in both groups. Helped Hurt Had no effect Helped 5% 6% Hurt 13% 3% Had no effect 78% 87% Don't Know/Refused 5% 4% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 9 March 2008

14 Economic Potential Do you think the rediscovery of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker has the potential to help the economy, hurt the economy, or have no effect on the economy of communities in the White River Basin region? Help The majority of respondents in both groups feel that the rediscovery of the IB Woodpecker has the potential to "Help" the economy landowners and the General Public think it would "Help" (60% and 56% respectively). Additionally, 2 out of 10 (20%) 100+ landowners and 3 out of 10 (26%) of the general public said it would have "No Effect". Hurt No effect Don't believe in rediscovery Help 60% 56% Hurt 10% 7% No effect 20% 26% Don't believe in rediscovery 4% 1% Don't Know/Refused 7% 10% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 10 March 2008

15 Tourism in Brinkley Since the rediscovery of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, do you think that tourism has increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the Brinkley area? Most people feel that tourism has "Increased" since the rediscovery of the IB Woodpecker with close to 6 out of 10 (62%) of the 100+ landowners and over one-half (55%) of the General Public sharing this view. Increased Decreased Stayed the same Don't believe in rediscovery Increased 62% 55% Decreased 2% 1% Stayed the same 18% 26% Don't believe in rediscovery 2% 1% Don't Know/Refused 16% 17% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 11 March 2008

16 Impact of Ivory-billed Woodpecker on Other Animal Species Do you think that conserving the habitat for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker helps, hurts, or has no effect on other White River Basin animal species such as waterfowl, deer, otter, fish, wild turkey, black bears, and other birds? Helps In regards to conserving the habitat for the IB Woodpecker, there are significant differences between the group's beliefs of the effects of White River Basin animal species. Almost one-half (49%) of the 100+ landowners feel that this action will "Help" other animal species and one-third (33%) in this same group think it would have "No Effect". With the General Public, more believe that it would have "No Effect" with around 4 out of 10 (44%) choosing this response. Hurts No effect Helps 49% 38% Hurts 9% 9% No effect 33% 44% Don't Know/Refused 9% 9% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 12 March 2008

17 Impact on Hunting and Fishing Do you think that endangered species regulations will limit your hunting or fishing, expand your hunting or fishing, or have no effect on your hunting or fishing? Limit Expand Disregarding the nearly 1 out of 10 (8-9%) respondents who volunteered that they didn't hunt, there are significant differences between the group's views of endangered species regulations. Nearly one-half (47%) of 100+ landowners and around 6 out of 10 (59%) of the General Public believe that regulations would "Have no effect" on their hunting or fishing. With those that felt it would effect their hunting or fishing, a large percentage think it would "Limit" their hunting. Around 4 in 10 (38%) of the 100+ landowners and only 27 percent of the General Public share this view. Have no effect Doesn't hunt Limit 38% 27% Expand 3% 2% Have no effect 47% 59% Doesn't hunt 8% 9% Don't Know/Refused 5% 4% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 13 March 2008

18 Land in the White River Basin Now thinking about land you own in the White River Basin area--in what county is your largest piece of land located? Arkansas When asked about where their largest piece of land was located, most stated that it was in Arkansas county with 3 out of 10 (30%) 100+ landowners and close to 3 out of 10 (26%) of the General Public owning land in this county. Desha Monroe Phillips Prairie Woodruff Other N=402 N=165 Arkansas 30% 26% Desha 6% 12% Monroe 15% 11% Phillips 13% 18% Prairie 20% 21% Woodruff 11% 9% Other 2% 2% Don't Know/Refused 4% 1% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 14 March 2008

19 Reporting Evidence of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker If you saw an Ivory-billed Woodpecker on land you own or lease, do you think you would report it or not report it to a wildlife agency? Report The majority of people in both groups said they would "Report" an IB Woodpecker if they saw one on land they own or lease. Over 7 out of 10 (71-76%) of both groups say they would inform a wildlife agency if they saw an IB Woodpecker. There was a much smaller percentage of people that stated they would would "Not Report" an IB Woodpecker. Less than one-fifth from both groups share this view. Not Report N=402 N=165 Report 71% 76% Not Report 17% 16% Don't Know/Refused 11% 8% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 15 March 2008

20 Likelihood of Government Intervention Do you believe that the federal government might take control of your property if they knew an Ivory-billed Woodpecker lived on land you own or lease? There is a significant inverse relationship with responses between groups when asked whether they thought the government might take control of their property if an IB Woodpecker was discovered on their land. Around one-half (51%) of 100+ landowners but only one-third (37%) of the General Public said they thought the government would intervene and take control of their land. Yes No N=402 N=165 Yes 51% 37% No 37% 52% Don't Know/Refused 12% 11% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 16 March 2008

21 Distance from White River Thinking about the largest tract of land you own, about how far is it rom the... White River? When asked about how far their tract of land was from the White River, there was a varied distribution of answers from both groups. 1 mile or less 2-5 miles 6-15 miles miles miles 75+ miles N=402 N=165 1 mile or less 10% 13% 2-5 miles 16% 16% 6-15 miles 24% 17% miles 19% 13% miles 16% 27% 75+ miles 1% 5% Don't Know/Refused 12% 9% Total 99% 100% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 17 March 2008

22 Distance from Cache River Thinking about the largest tract of land you own, about how far is it rom the... Cache River? 1 mile or less When asked about how far their tract of land was from the Cache River, around one-third (34%) of 100+ landowners said it was betwee 6-15 miles from the Cache River. The General Public share this top response with 4 out of 10 (42%) giving this answer. 2-5 miles 6-15 miles miles miles N=102 N=33 1 mile or less 22% 6% 2-5 miles 21% 21% 6-15 miles 34% 42% miles 13% 6% miles 1% 6% Don't Know/Refused 10% 18% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 18 March 2008

23 Distance from Bayou Deview Thinking about the largest tract of land you own, about how far is it rom the... Bayou Deview? 1 mile or less When asked about how far their tract of land was from the Bayou Deview, responses from both groups were varied. Around one-fourth (26%) 100+ landowners say they didn't know or that it was between 6-15 miles away (25%). The General Public said between 2-5 miles (33%) and 3 out of 10 (30%) were also unsure of the distance. 2-5 miles 6-15 miles miles miles N=102 N=33 1 mile or less 18% 6% 2-5 miles 15% 33% 6-15 miles 25% 15% miles 11% 10% miles 6% 6% Don't Know/Refused 26% 30% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 19 March 2008

24 Distance from Arkansas River Thinking about the largest tract of land you own, about how far is it rom the... Arkansas River? 1 mile or less When asked about how far their tract of land was from the Arkansas River, around one-third (35%) of 100+ landowners said it was between miles from the Arkansas River. The General Public share this top response with 39% giving this answer. 2-5 miles 6-15 miles miles miles N=105 N=55 1 mile or less 1% 0% 2-5 miles 4% 2% 6-15 miles 11% 15% miles 7% 12% miles 35% 39% 46+ miles 26% 27% Don't Know/Refused 16% 5% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 20 March 2008

25 Bird Watching In the past year, did you partcipate in any of the following activities... Bird watching? One-third (30%) of 100+ landowners and 21 percent of the General Public said they participate in bird watching activities. Yes No Yes 30% 21% No 67% 76% Don't Know/Refused 3% 3% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 21 March 2008

26 Fishing [In the past year, did you partcipate in any of the following activities...] Fishing? Over 4 out of 10 (45%) of the 100+ landowners and around one-half (51%) of the General Public participate in fishing. Yes No Yes 45% 51% No 53% 46% Don't Know/Refused 3% 3% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 22 March 2008

27 Hunting [In the past year, did you partcipate in any of the following activities...] Hunting? There are significant differences between the groups in regards to participation in hunting activities. Almost half of the landowners (46%) participate in hunting while only one-third (29%) of the General Public report participation in hunting activities. Yes No Yes 46% 29% No 52% 68% Don't Know/Refused 3% 3% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 23 March 2008

28 Wildlife Watching [In the past year, did you partcipate in any of the following activities...] Wildlife watching? In general, almost 6 out of 10 (57%) of the 100+ landowners said they participate in wildlife watching. A significantly lesser percentage of the General Public say that have particpated in wildlife watching in the past year (41%). Yes No Yes 57% 41% No 41% 56% Don't Know/Refused 3% 3% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 24 March 2008

29 Wildlife Photography [In the past year, did you partcipate in any of the following activities...] Wildlife photography? Around 2 out of 10 (23%) of the 100+ landowners participate in wildlife photography. A smaller percentage of the General Public (14%) have participated in the past year. Yes No Yes 23% 14% No 75% 83% Don't Know/Refused 3% 3% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 25 March 2008

30 Age What is your age? The majority of respondents in both groups were over the age of 45. There are significant differences across age categories. Most 100+ landowners are between (29%). Within the general public, an equal amount are between years of age. Around 2 out of 10 (21%) fit into those two groups % 2% % 8% % 12% % 18% % 21% % 21% % 13% Don't Know/Refused 5% 5% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 26 March 2008

31 Education What is the highest grade level or school you completed? The 100+ landowners are generally more educated than the General Public. The majority of 100+ landowners (45%) stated that they have a college degree or more and most of the General Public (57%) said they have a high school diploma or less. HS grad or less (includes GED) Some college/trade school College degree or more HS grad or less (includes GED) 33% 57% Some college/trade school 18% 21% College degree or more 45% 18% Don't Know/Refused 4% 5% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 27 March 2008

32 Gender A majority of males completed the survey in the 100+ landowner group and a majority of females completed the General Public survey. Male Female Male 62% 43% Female 38% 57% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 28 March 2008

33 AR Game & Fish Commission Rating From what you know or have heard, how would you rate the job that the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission does? Excellent Both survey groups (49%) believe the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission was doing a "Good" job. The second highest response was also very similar between the two groups. Overall, over one-fourth (26-28%) rated the AR Game and Fish Commission as doing an "Excellent" job. Good Fair Poor Excellent 26% 28% Good 49% 49% Fair 14% 14% Poor 4% 2% Don't Know/Refused 7% 8% UALR/IOG Survey Research Center 29 March 2008