In 1995, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber began preparing a voluntary plan for restoring Oregon coastal coho salmon runs. The plan encourages a cooperative approach among state agencies, federal officials, and community partners. To learn about the people most affected and most likely to participate in this plan, the authors conducted a survey of 505 coastal residents. Respondents' views suggest support for a voluntary, nonfederal approach to salmon restoration. Although they show general support for salmon and environmental restoration, their views differ from those of many aquatic scientists on the impact of marine mammal and bird predation, use of hatcheries, and the importance of naturally spawning stocks of salmon. They show a willingness to pay modestly and to volunteer for salmon restoration, but they lack faith in government's effectiveness. The survey shows that coastal residents' values regarding environmental and economic priorities are more reliable than demographic variables in predicting their attitudes toward salmon restoration. Coastal respondents will interpret and evaluate materials and information according to their beliefs; and age, gender, income, education, and length of residence are not very helpful in distinguishing those who are willing to help restore salmon from those who are not. The survey suggests that planning and communications programs will be more successful if they recognize that people's values affect how they perceive and receive information about salmon issues.

Courtland L. Smith et al
Short Description: 
Results of a survey of coastal residents regarding salmon restoration.
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Entry Date: 
Thursday, May 1, 1997
16 pp.
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Additional authors: Jennifer D. Gilden, Joseph S. Cone, and Brent S. Steel.
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