Human Dimensions

We have learned that habitat conservation is most effective when it is community-based and landowner-led. Therefore, it’s imperative the IWJV’s conservation strategies meet people where they are and where they live in order to achieve meaningful and durable conservation. Understanding the social science—interests, perceptions, values, and motivations—of key stakeholders in specific landscapes can serve to ground the IWJV’s biological objectives and drive our partnership conservation initiatives.

The IWJV has spearheaded two human dimensions projects:

Digging Deeper Into Flood Irrigation
Two landowner-led workshops were hosted in southern Oregon-northeastern California and southwest Wyoming-northwestern Colorado to better understand the relationship between working wet meadows, agricultural production, and bird habitat. The purpose of the project was to provide insights about landowners’ conservation behaviors while engaging landowners in a participatory approach to inform conservation program design, implementation, and policy.

Learn more about the facilitators and constraints to maintaining flood irrigation on the landscape that supports working wet meadows for ranchers and the environment. Visit this page to access the webinar and recommendations that were developed to assist conservation professionals with engaging and supporting flood irrigators in long-term sustainability of working wet meadows.

Conserving the Greater Sage-Grouse: A Social-Ecological Systems Case Study from the California-Nevada Region
On the California-Nevada border there is a genetically unique population of Greater Sage-grouse that lives in the far southwestern limit of the species’ range. Since 2002, Bi-State sage grouse, as they are informally known, have been petitioned for Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing several times. Although concerned for the species, many in the region feared the economic consequences of a listing on the industries their livelihoods depend upon: mining, agriculture, energy, and recreation.

This research examines how the successful conservation effort known as the Bi-State Collaborative used the social-ecological systems (SES) approach to prevent an ESA listing of this specific sage grouse population. While no single case study can provide an exact formula for conservation success, this is a practical example of how the SES approach can help groups navigate tradeoffs between ecological and societal needs.

See the Intermountain Insights and peer-reviewed publication for more information. 


Working together is always better

We’re always looking for new partners with mutually beneficial programs to advance projects that benefit birds and other wildlife, ranching, industry, and economic livelihoods of western communities and cultures.

Let's Work Together