Public resource allocation for programs aimed at managing woody plants on the Edwards Plateau: water yield, wildlife habitat, and carbon sequestration
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The Edwards Plateau is the drainage area for the Edwards Aquifer, which provides water to over 2.2 million people. The plateau also provides other ecosystem services, such as wildlife habitat and the sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The public concern for continued delivery of these ecosystem services is increasing; with private landowners of the plateau region affecting the delivery of these services. A geographic information systems spatial analysis was conducted for Bandera and Kerr counties, with two components being: (1) biophysical and (2) landowner interest. Together these resulted in an overarching map depicting the optimal locations to allocate government assistance to landowners for managing their property to support three ecosystem services: water yield, wildlife habitat, and carbon sequestration.In April 2003, a mail survey of selected landowners was conducted to determine their opinions regarding ecosystem services and cost-share programs (Olenick et al. 2005). In July 2004, a supplemental survey of respondents to the first survey was conducted to follow-up on a few questions answered incorrectly and to focus on landowner opinions regarding cost-share assistance programs and land management activities. Overall, it appeared that five year performance contracts were the most chosen contract type for respondents of all property sizes, earning mid/high annual incomes, and for all length of ownership time periods. Based on our findings, the publicly-funded assistance programs that should be allocated to the optimal ecosystem service locations are five and ten year performance contracts based on property size, length of ownership, and income level categories. The spatial and statistical analysis results were successful, in that optimal locations and types of cost share programs were identified for each ecosystem service in order to prioritize the allocation of limited public resources. The patches of ecosystem target areas within the final target area map can be used as land management demonstration sites to reveal to surrounding landowners the benefits of participating in publicly funded cost-share assistance programs. However, the study has been limited by the generality of the GIS statewide wildlife data.
Davis, Amber Marie (2003). Public resource allocation for programs aimed at managing woody plants on the Edwards Plateau: water yield, wildlife habitat, and carbon sequestration. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from