Conservation Easements and Management by Family Forest Owners: A Propensity Score Matching Approach with Multi-Imputations of Survey Data
Abstract:Increasingly, private landowners are participating in conservation easement programs, but their effects on land management remain to be addressed. Data from the USDA Forest Service National Woodland Owner Survey for the US Northern Region were used to investigate how conservation easement participation is associated with selected past and future forest management practices. Multiple data imputation was used to correct for missing data bias, and propensity score matching was applied to correct for selection bias. Results show that only the adoption of forest management plans, among 17 forest management practices, was significantly and positively correlated with easement participation. Conservation easements legally bind participants to maintain land forested, but there was no evidence of greater association between easement participation and active forest management practices, including timber harvesting. These findings suggest that adoption of conservation easements is a policy tool that can preserve forestland from changing to other uses but may not necessarily be conducive to wider implementation of land practices necessary for long-term protection of forests.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2014-04-01
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- 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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