Last Settler’s Syndrome And Resource Use In Southern Appalachia

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Peter Groothuis Ph.D., Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: To better understand perspectives on resource use and economic development in a rural area, results from three independent studies have been integrated. The first project assessed whether there were differences across demographic groups as to their willingness to pay to protect the aesthetic value of the landscape or their willingness to accept some decreased level of aesthetic value. The second project involved working with a rural community that faces development pressure from outside the community to generate ideas for economic development that preserves local cultural and environmental conditions. The third project addressed public perspectives on water conservation and economic development. All three projects reveal evidence of ‘last settler’s syndrome’—a tendency among individuals to place a high value on what initially attracted them to a specific place and to attempt to maintain status quo. The three projects also reveal situations of potential conflict when ideas about resource use clash as well as situations ripe for cooperation as various groups share values about resource use and economic development.

Additional Information

Cockerill, K., & Groothuis, P. (2014). Last settler’s syndrome and resource use in Southern Appalachia. The Journal of Rural and Community Development, 9(3), 319–336. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2014
land use, rural, resource management, public attitudes, willingness-to-pay

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