Invasive plants, amenity migration, and challenges for cross-property management: Opening the black box of the property-centric landholder
Landscape and Urban Planning
The movement of largely affluent urban or suburban populations to rural areas for specific lifestyle amenities is transforming the social and ecological compositions of rural landscapes. This transformation is evident in the biophysical changes to receiving landscapes, but also the increasing fragmentation of land use goals, skills and motivations among these new amenity migrants. In the context of cross-property management, which requires landholders to cooperate and agree on management goals, the fragmentation of land uses and management values presents significant obstacles for protecting economic and natural resources. This paper focuses on invasive plants as one cross-property management issue that is complicated by amenity migration. In particular, we investigate the claim that amenity migrants’ individual or ‘property-centric’ approach to land management worsens cross-property management issues through a disinterest in cross-property management problems, or by exercising management practices that perpetuate existing management problems. Despite the seemingly unambiguous claim in the literature that property-centrism impedes cross-property management, the precise characteristics and functions of this disposition remain largely absent. Drawing on 25 participant interviews with property-centric amenity migrants on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia, we address this gap by detailing the formation of property-centric management and how it manifests in the management attitudes and practices of amenity migrants. Our analysis of property-centric management identifies both the barriers and opportunities for addressing invasive plant management, and in doing so, provides recommendations for how land managers may be better equipped to respond to cross-property management problems in rural-amenity landscapes.
Open Access Status
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Australian Research Council