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An Investigation of Relational Values in aRiver Social-Ecological System
Department: Biology
Specimen Elements
Unknown to Unknown
Adam Eckersell
Idaho State University
City: Pocatello
Relational values are a unique value concept that explain the importance of relationships between humans, society, and the environment.Because of this,relational values resonate broadly with all social constructs. We used value concepts to investigate, quantify, and evaluatethe significance local cultural ideals play in shaping the foundations of relational valuesthat form by angling for trout in theHenry’s Fork Watershed. We demonstrate that quantifying the socialfoundations and the ecological foundations of relational values may aid inexplaining the what, where, and why places or species are important to the public. Here, we demonstrate the effectiveness ofusing a survey that containsboth quantitative and qualitative questions while simultaneously pairing the information gathered from the survey with the ecological data collected on the trout species found in the region. From this, we empirically quantify four important characteristics of the public. First, angling is a key component of the culture of the region, second, individualswith regional angling knowledge are much more likely to have a personal meaning attached to the Henry’s Fork, third,self-identified expert fly-fishers share similar relational values to the publicand express connections and disconnectswith the feeding ecology of trout, and fourth the public isaware of the ecological needs of trout. In order to promote successful management of any river social-ecological system an understanding the foundations of relational values may be needed.This understanding may increase the likelihood of any conservation project achieving success and acceptance with the local region.Key Words: conservation, relational values, survey, Henry’s Fork Watershed Idaho, trout, social-ecological systems, cultural services

An Investigation of Relational Values in aRiver Social-Ecological System

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