Family Forest Owner Trends in the Northern United States

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Abstract:

Understanding forest ownership trends is critical for understanding forest trends. In the northern United States, where 55% of the forestland is controlled by families and individuals, it is imperative that we understand the trends within this complex and dynamic group of owners. The US Forest Service conducted forest landowner surveys across this region, and the rest of the United States, in 1993 and 2006. The published results are not directly comparable because of differences in what was reported and how the data were processed. Fortunately, the same sample designs were used and a subset of identical or near identical questions was asked on both surveys so that reprocessing the data allows for trends to be accurately assessed. The average size of family forest holdings decreased from 25 to 20 ac, reasons for owning remained amenity centered, and the owners are now more likely to be older, retired, have a higher income, and more educated.

Keywords: National Woodland Owner Survey; demographics; nonindustrial private forest owners; parcelization; private forest owners

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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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