Parcelization: Forest Change Agent in Northern Wisconsin

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Parcelization-induced forest fragmentation is eating away at private, nonindustrial forests. Parcel sizes are declining and the number of landowners is increasing. These conditions make it challenging for resource managers to maintain economical timber harvesting on smaller privately held forested parcels. Shrinking parcel sizes also aggravate landscape and habitat fragmentation. In this article, we analyze parcelization and its link to private land-use change. Reconstruction of historic tax parcels and land use in three rural towns in Bayfield County, Wisconsin, allowed us to examine the effects of parcelization over a 53-year period. Our results indicate that parcelization is a significant factor in landscape change in northern Wisconsin. This research provides empirical evidence of the necessity to manage how private land is subdivided and used in amenity and natural resource rich areas.

Keywords: GIS; forest fragmentation; land use; landscape change; landscape ecology; parcelization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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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