The Natural Area Value Scale: a New Instrument for Measuring Natural Area Values
Winter, C and Lockwood, M, The Natural Area Value Scale: a New Instrument for Measuring Natural Area Values, Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 11, (1) pp. 11-20. ISSN 1448-6563 (2004) [Refereed Article]
At present there is no adequate means by which natural area planners and decision- makers can undertake a comprehensive and integrated assessment of individuals' values for natural areas. Although instrumental values can be measured in a number of ways, there exists no accepted mechanism in natural resource management planning through which intrinsic values can be measured for a large sample. In this article, we describe the Natural Area Value Scale (NA VS) which addresses this need. The NAVS has been designed to suit a general public sample, but also to have application across different population groups and resource types. The 20-item NA VS can measure, distinguish between and gauge the relative strengths of individuals' intrinsic, non-use and use values for nature. Use values have distinct recreation and non-recreation components. For a general population sample, the four value sub-scales have good reliability. Evidence for construct validity is given by the presence of expected correlations between the sub-scales, the verification of expected relationships between the relative sub-scale values for different population samples, and the verification of expected relationships between sub-scale values and management preferences. The NA VS also provided coherent results across two very different types of environments, forests and wetlands, as well as in circumstances involving endangered species.