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Motivations and Land-Use Intentions of Nonindustrial Private Forest Landowners: Comparing Inheritors to Noninheritors

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The documented importance of intergenerational human capital transfers in agriculture generally gives us reason to suspect that such transfers may be important in a forestry context and that there may be important implied differences between first-generation woodland owners and multigeneration woodland owners with respect to their motivations and future intentions. In turn, knowledge of the motivations and intentions of nonindustrial private landowners may be extremely important because such knowledge may be vital in terms of our ability to predict future timber supply and the availability of nontimber amenities. Also, the effectiveness of public policies targeting nonindustrial private forest landowners may depend critically on their motivations and intentions. In this article, we analyzed 8,373 responses to the National Woodland Owner Survey to compare characteristics, motivations, and intentions of multigeneration forest landowners against those of single-generation forest landowners. In brief, we found there were significant differences in their motivations and management behavior; inheritors are more active forest managers and manage for both timber and nontimber forest products more aggressively than noninheritors who typically value esthetics, privacy, protection of biodiversity, and nonhunting recreation.

Keywords: National Woodland Owner Survey; inheritance; intentions; nonindustrial private forest owners

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
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