A qualitative examination of value orientations toward wildlife and biodiversity by rural residents of the intermountain region
The values that individuals associate with wildlife and biodiversity are many (e.g., utilitarian, aesthetic, naturalistic) (Kellert 1996). This study explores the values associated with wildlife and biodiversity by residents of a small, rural community in the Intermountain Western region of the United States. The community is located within an area rich in wildlife and, in general, the research aims to examine how these individuals define their own value orientations toward wildlife and biodiversity, how these value systems have been shaped by regular interaction with nature within a rural setting, and whether these rural residents view their value systems as distinct from other population groups. Overall, the results demonstrate 1) the fallacy of assuming constant value orientations within rural population groups, 2) the importance of local context within value formation, and 3) the myriad ways in which individuals define "environmental value."