Trapper Attitudes and Industrial Development on Registered Traplines in West-Central Alberta


Shevenell M. Webb, Debra J. Davidson, and Mark S. Boyce


Human Dimensions of Wildlife 23(2): 115-126; 2008.


Rapid industrial development can have unplanned consequences for the landscape and lead to conflicts among stakeholders. Impacts to traditional and subsistence-based land users can be significant, but have gone largely unexamined. We studied marten trapper attitudes toward industrial development and how these perceptions coincide with measurements of land-use activities in western Alberta, Canada. Sampled trappers had negative attitudes toward industrial activity, with a disproportionate emphasis on timber harvesting. Trappers with concerns about industrial activity had more developed traplines. Trappers who were less concerned about industrial development were
more likely to have good working relationships with specific companies and felt involved in land management decisions. Our findings indicate that the extent of disturbance alone does not determine the level of trapper concern and discuss the factors that could lead to disparity in attitudes and improve communications.