Valerie Grant

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Forest Resource Management

Committee Chair

David W McGill

Committee Co-Chair

Kathryn Arano Gazal

Committee Member

Harry Boone Jr


The Greenbrier River watershed features some of the most productive agriculture and timberlands, critical habitat, and extensive recreational opportunities in the central Appalachian Mountains. Cross-boundary conservation projects could address landscape scale issues such as parallelization and fragmentation in the agricultural, forest, and recreationally productive rural area in southeastern West Virginia. A survey of farmland and woodland owners explored relationships between landowner attributes, land management activities, sense of place, and willingness to participate in cross-boundary conservation efforts. Logistic regression analysis revealed two significant relationships between landowner attributes when considering neighboring properties while making management decisions and interest in conservation easements. These two attributes, contact with an agriculture professional or registered forester and conservation ethic (the affinity to and responsibility for land) could increase interest in cross-boundary conservation programs. Conservation ethic also had a negative relationship with interest in allowing leased access to properties for recreation or hunting, possibly because of perceived loss of privacy, identity, or control. Two main implications for reaching out to landowners and increasing participation in cross-boundary programs are: 1. Create opportunities for landowners to make contact with an agriculture or forestry professional, and 2. Design cross-boundary conservation programs which mirror landowners existing practices, such as leasing.