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Estimating Ownerships and Parcels of Nonindustrial Private Forestland in Massachusetts

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Woodland ownership for three regions of Massachusetts is estimated using property tax assessor data. These data are nonspatially explicit and are based on commercial, industrial, residential, or other activity rather than actual land cover. A heuristic was used to aggregate similar parcels to provide an estimate of actual landownership. The estimated average statewide ownership is 17.9 ac, and when properties less than 10 ac are excluded, the average rises to 42.5 ac. The median ownership varies from east to west in the state across the spectrum of suburban development radiating from the metropolitan Boston area, with the median being 4.8, 7.8, and 8.6 ac in the eastern, central, and western part of the state, respectively. These results are compared with ownership estimates generated by the US Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis.

Keywords: forest owners; nonindustrial private forest; ownership; parcelization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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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