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Opportunities and Challenges to the Supply of Woody Biomass for Energy from Missouri Nonindustrial Privately Owned Forestlands

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Supply of timber and woody biomass products is highly reliant on nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) landowners' willingness to harvest, particularly in areas of the country where they dominate forest ownership. In Missouri, NIPF landowners own about 78% of all forestlands, but it was 30 years ago when the last comprehensive analysis of their views and objectives was conducted. Results of a mail survey of NIPF landowners who possess at least 20 acres show that the majority of landowners in the state of Missouri continue to be recreation-oriented. However, we suggest a new typology (including proportions): Enthusiast (30%), Retreat (27%), Preservationist (24%), and Passive (19%) NIPF landowners. Analysis of reasons for owning woodlands suggests four latent factors: protection, privacy, production, and legacy objectives. Views toward the use of woody biomass for energy revealed a general support for bioenergy. Two latent factors behind NIPF landowners' views on woody biomass for energy were identified: bioenergy support and environmental impacts. About 32% of NIPF landowners would be willing to harvest 15 green tons/acre of woody biomass if they are paid at least $75/acre. A third of them indicated no willingness to harvest woody biomass regardless of price. The limited adoption of forest management plans, concerns over environmental impacts, and currently depressed prices hinder the supply of woody biomass materials for energy from Missouri NIPFs.
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Keywords: forest; management; ownership; woody biomass

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-07-01

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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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