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Effectiveness of Landowner Assistance Activities: An Examination of the USDA Forest Service's Forest Stewardship Program

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Abstract:

The USDA Forest Service's Forest Stewardship Program (FSP) is the nation's most prominent private forestry assistance program. We examined the FSP using a multiple analytic approach: analysis of annual FSP accomplishments, survey of state FSP coordinators, analytic comparison of family forest owners receiving and not receiving forestry practice assistance, and focus groups with family forest owners. We found the FSP reaches a small fraction of eligible landowners; states use FSP funds to address local private forestland issues; landowners obtaining assistance commonly associated with the FSP (e.g., management plans) differ from others in sociodemographics, ownership objectives, and land management actions but not in terms of intent to sell/subdivide forestland; and traditional FSP activities are not influencing inactive family forest owners to become active managers. We believe current practices (e.g., state-level flexibility) help the FSP reach its goals, alternative assistance-related efforts may increase the reach of the FSP and support strategic goals, and data collection improvements may enrich future FSP evaluations.

Keywords: US landowner assistance; family forest owners; forest management plan; nonindustrial private forest owners; program evaluation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5849/jof.13-066

Publication date: 2014-03-01

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.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
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