Publication Title

Society & Natural Resources

Document Type


Department or Program

Environmental Studies

Publication Date



Land use changes from natural ecosystems to industrial agriculture have impacted water quality and wildlife populations in the Mississippi River basin. Government programs providing technical assistance and monetary incentives have not resulted in adequate adoption rates of conservation practices. While there has been a plethora of research examining the factors associated with conservation adoption, significantly less is understood about the relative importance of these factors. Using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) with agricultural producers in three Midwestern watersheds, we assess the relative importance of environmental and production decision criteria when making decisions to adopt conservation practices. Although AHP provides insight into how decisions may be made at the watershed scale, this methodology also provides insight into how individuals make conservation decisions and may also provide a method for delivering tailored conservation advice and communications.

Copyright Note

This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Bates College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.

Required Publisher's Statement

This is an accepted, pre-copyedit version of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Society & Natural Resources on January 24, 2018. The final authenticated version is available online at: