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Forest Cooperatives Revisited

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Abstract:

Forestry cooperatives provide strategies for reaching increasingly diverse and numerous forest landowners with forest management advice and profitable management services. Forestry cooperatives currently thrive in at least 17 countries. We use a case study method to compare four US-based entities, each using a different strategy that involves cooperation beyond the traditional landowner-harvester-processor-marketer chain of custody. Keys to successful co-ops include maximizing forest owner control and flexibility, emphasizing amenity and environmental qualities over short-term profits, cautiously integrating harvesting processing and marketing functions, accessing capital from public grants and private investors, and having good management skills and a sophisticated resource inventory system. Public forestry agencies, private forestry consultants, and forest scientists can support cooperative forestry ventures by implementing a few strategic initiatives discussed in the conclusion.

Keywords: community economic development; fragmentation; sustainability; value-added; vertical integration

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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