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A Typology of Family Forest Owners in North Central Indiana

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Patterns of forest cover across the United States partly reflect the diverse and dynamic ownership motivations and management behaviors of family forest owners. The objectives of this study were to (i) identify distinct types of landowners with regard to ownership motivations and other ownership characteristics and (ii) compare these types of landowners in terms of (a) use of specific forest management practices, (b) information seeking, (c) familiarity with and participation in private forest conservation programs, and (d) ownership and sociodemographic characteristics. A two-step cluster analysis of responses to a mail questionnaire distributed to family forest owners in north central Indiana revealed three distinct types of landowners. Forest managers attributed importance to diverse values with regard to owning their forest. New forest owners owned their properties for the least amount of time and attributed importance to all ownership motivations with the exception of producing timber. Passive forest owners owned the smallest forested acreages and attributed importance to none of the ownership motivations operationalized in this research with the exception of enjoying scenery. Results are discussed in terms of typologies previously described in the literature and the implications of the relationships among landowner types with regard to management.
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Keywords: family forest owners; forest management; information seeking; ownership motivations; private forest conservation programs

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-12-01

More about this publication?
  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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