Natural Resources, School of



Lincoln R. Larson, North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Markus Nils Peterson, North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Richard von Furstenberg, North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Victoria R. Vayer, North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Kangjae Jerry Lee, North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Daniel Y. Choi, North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Kathryn Stevenson, North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Adam A. Ahlers, Kansas State University
Christine Anhalt-Depies, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Taniya Bethke, Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports
Jeremy T. Bruskotter, The Ohio State University
Christopher J. Chizinski, University of Nebraska, LincolnFollow
Brian Clark, Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources
Ashley A. Dayer, Virginia Tech
Kelly Heber Dunning, Auburn University
Benjamin Ghasemi, Texas A & M University - College Station
Larry Gigliotti, South Dakota State University
Alan Graefe, The Pennsylvania State University
Kris Irwin, University of Georgia
Samuel J. Keith, University of Georgia
Matt Kelly, Michigan Tech University
Gerard Kyle, Texas A&M University
Elizabeth Metcalf, University of Montana
Wayde Morse, Auburn University
Mark D. Needham, Oregon State University
Neelam C. Poudyal, University of Tennessee
Michael Quartuch, Colorado Parks & Wildlife
Shari Rodriguez, Clemson University
Chelsie Romulo, University of Northern Colorado
Ryan L. Sharp, Kansas State University
William Siemer, Cornell University
Matthew T. Springer, University of Kentucky
Brett Stayton, RIFF Outdoors
Richard Stedman, Cornell University
Taylor Stein, Department of Forest Resources and Conservation
Timothy R. Van Deelen, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Jason Whiting, California State University
Richelle L. Winkler, Michigan Technological University
Kyle Maurice Woosnam, University of Georgia

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Date of this Version



Larson, L. R., Peterson, M. N., Furstenberg, R. V., Vayer, V. R., Lee, K. J., Choi, D. Y., Stevenson, K., Ahlers, A. A., Anhalt Depies, C., Bethke, T., T. Bruskotter, J., Chizinski, C. J., Clark, B., Dayer, A. A., Dunning, K. H., Ghasemi, B., Gigliotti, L., Graefe, A., Irwin, K., … Woosnam, K. M. (2021). The future of wildlife conservation funding: What options do U.S. college students support? Conservation Science and Practice, e505.




Insufficient funding is a major impediment to conservation efforts around the world. In the United States, a decline in hunting participation threatens sustainability of the “user-pay, public benefit” model that has supported wildlife conservation for nearly 100 years, forcing wildlife management agencies to contemplate alternative funding strategies. We investigated support for potential funding options among diverse college students, a rapidly expanding and politically active voting bloc with a potentially powerful influence on the future of conservation. From 2018 to 2020, we surveyed 17,203 undergraduate students at public universities across 22 states. Students preferred innovative approaches to conservation funding, with 72% supporting funding derived from industry sources (e.g., natural resource extraction companies), 63% supporting state sources (e.g., general sales tax), and 43% supporting conventional user-based sources such as license fees and excise taxes associated with outdoor recreation activities (e.g., hunting). Findings emphasize the need to broaden the base of support for conservation funding and highlight the importance of considering the preferences and perspectives of young adults and other diverse beneficiaries of wildlife conservation.