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Trends Among Family Forest Owners in Alabama, 1994–2004

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There are an estimated 432,000 family forest owners in Alabama and they control 67% of the State's forestland. About two-thirds owned less than 10 ac. and about 88% of the family forest owners have holdings of less than 50 ac; collectively, this group of owners with 1–49 ac of forestland own 15% of Alabama's family forestland. The corollary to this finding is that a majority (85%) of the state's family forestland is owned by the minority (12%) of owners who own 50 ac or more. Between 1994 and 2004, the amount of forestland owned by family forest owners with small (less than 10 ac) and large (more than 500 ac) forest holdings increased, while the total area of forestland owned by people with intermediate-size holdings, in general, decreased. Compared with 10 years ago, the number of family forest owners 45–54 years old is higher but they tend to own smaller parcels of forestland. During the same period, the number of owners 65 years or older decreased, but, on average, the size of their holdings increased. Recreation and investments have become more important objectives of ownership, whereas timber production as a primary ownership objective decreases. The probability of an owner having harvested trees, having a management plan, or having sought forest management advice increased as the size of the forest holding increased.
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Keywords: National Woodland Owner Survey; forest management; harvesting; nonindustrial private forest; parcelization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-08-01

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