Land ethic of ranchers: a core value despite divergent views of government

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This was a study of ranchers in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico using Q Methodology to understand their views and motivations about ranching, conservation, and the government. Our results show three complex viewpoints, which we term radical center ranchers (20% of variance), innovative conservationists (19% of variance), and traditional ranchers (12% of variance). A commitment to conservation and corresponding lack of anti-conservation sentiment is held across these viewpoints. Mistrust of government coexists with conservation values for two groups. This information is useful for finding common ground between ranchers and government officials, conservationists, and extension agents on range management and conservation goals.