Factors Influencing Trust in a Wildlife Management Agency: a Case Study of Deer Management in Bloomington, Indiana
White-tailed deer overpopulation is a common challenge for natural resource managers in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States, and finding sustainable solutions remains a challenge for many parks and communities. Often, the population reaches a point where lethal management strategies must be used, though this management strategy sparks contentious debate due to low trust in the managing agency. Implementing lethal management for the white-tailed deer goes hand in hand with affecting and managing public opinion. In this case study, factors that influence trust in the city of Bloomington, Indiana, are examined. In this case, proposed sharpshooting policy and citizen involvement is the issue, and results indicate that positive regard for decision-making and the science that informs the decision predicted trust in the local city government, while age and preference for hunting predicted distrust.