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Do Forest Management Plans Increase Best Management Practices Implementation on Family Forests? A Formative Evaluation in the New York City Watershed

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Financial incentive programs for forest management plans on private forestland are common in the United States. Few studies, however, have examined the relationship between management plans and “on-the-ground” forest management practices. We used the New York City Watershed as a case study to evaluate the impact of management plans on best management practices (BMP) implementation. We conducted field surveys during 2009 and 2011 and evaluated properties for implementation by comparing postharvest conditions with New York BMP guidelines. We also compared the data with previously published results from 2002. Evaluation scores for properties with plans were significantly better in only two of six BMP categories: skid trails and forest roads. Although not invalidating forest management plans, this case study suggests a need for further evaluation of planning initiatives and a potential shift in funding away from management plans to programs such as logger training and timber sale contract education.

Keywords: management plan; nonindustrial private forestland; policy outcomes; private forest; timber harvesting

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 24, 2013

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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