Segmenting Landowners Based on Their Information-Seeking Behavior: A Look at Landowner Education on the Red Oak Borer

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This study uses a segmentation technique to classify landowners into four relevant groups to explore their information-seeking behavior about the red oak borer—an insect pest found primarily in the Ozark and Ouachita regions of Arkansas. Cluster Analysis technique was used to classify landowners into four groups—amenity focused rural, amenity focused urban, passive rural, and passive urban landowners—based on ownership objectives and rural and urban residence of the landowner. A relatively higher proportion (58%) of amenity focused rural landowners were familiar with red oak borer problems while the level of familiarity was more or less similar among passive rural (35%), amenity focused urban (36%), and passive urban (33%) landowners. Urban residents primarily received information about the red oak borer through mass media whereas rural residents relied on personal communication. Those that had taken some steps to reduce red oak borer impacts ranged from 14 to 19% among amenity focused urban, passive rural, and amenity focused rural landowners while none of the passive urban landowners had taken any action. The results from our study also suggest that targeting landowners based on their ownership objectives may be useful to stimulate forest management. If suitably targeted to amenity focused landowners, personal communication, although expensive and time-consuming, can be fruitful and a more efficient way to optimize resources.

Keywords: cluster analysis; forest landowner groups; landowner outreach

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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  • 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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