Does race matter in landowners' participation in conservation incentive programs?
This study investigated and compared the participation behavior of white and minority small landowners in Alabama in eight conservation incentive programs. Using nonparametric tests and logit modeling, we found both similarities and differences in participation behavior between these two landowner groups. Both white and minority landowners tended not to participate in conservation incentive programs, and were equally likely to participate in the overall programs. Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Stewardship Incentives Program (SIP), and Forestry Incentives Program (FIP). White landowners, however, were enrolled in the CRP longer and signed up more acres in the CRP and FIP than minorities. Moreover, minorities were more likely to be dissatisfied with program participation and to be unable to afford the cost share. The determinants for program participation vary with program and racial/ethnic background. We suggest new approaches to encouraging program participation by small landowners in general and by minority landowners in particular.