WMA Adjacent Landowner Survey
FWC would like to thank everyone who gave their time to participate in this survey. Your responses are critical for informing the best decisions for our state’s natural resources. The survey period is now closed.
From January to July of 2022, FWC randomly surveyed 5,000 private landowners with property near Wildlife Management Areas using a 28-question mail survey. We wanted to better understand how to work with landowners near WMAs to enhance the natural areas we manage and the societal benefits WMAs brings to our state. To reach this goal, our survey sought to understand four general ideas:
- What kinds of people/entities own land near WMAs?
- How do these landowners think about and use WMAs?
- How do these landowners think about and interact with FWC?
- How do these landowners manage their land?
Below, we’ve presented a selection of the survey question results with charts and graphs. To see all question results with charts and graphs, see the results PDF summary.
Most private landowners (88%) had heard of the Wildlife Management Area System in Florida.
Private landowners listed a broad variety of activities when asked about their three main recreational activities at the nearest WMA to their land. The top three activities mentioned were fishing (32.8%), hiking (30.1%), and wildlife viewing (23.9%). See the chart for the full list.
Private landowners appear to strongly prefer the WMA closest to their land, with most (75%) not having visited any other WMA area in the past 12 months.
Private landowners also reported a high degree of trust in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), which we measured using a series of trust statements. Depending on the statement in the table below 61.5% - 75.9% of private landowners (outlined in red on table) trust FWC to do its job and make decisions.
Despite 92% of private landowners being aware of prescribed fire or controlled burns as intentional land management (Figure 4), most private landowners (51%) are not using prescribed fire or controlled burns on their property as a management practice (Figure 5).