The Influence of Multiple Ownership Interests and Decision-Making Networks on the Management of Family Forest Lands: Evidence from the United States

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Small-scale Forestry, ISSN: 1873-7617, Vol: 17, Issue: 1, Page: 1-23

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Stephanie A. Snyder; Michael A. Kilgore
Springer Nature
Agricultural and Biological Sciences
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A national assessment of how the number of parcel owners influence family forest land management and use decisions in the US was conducted using a subset of the US Forest Service’s National Woodland Owner Survey Dataset. Seventy-two percent of single parcel family forest land ownership respondents of at least 4.05 ha had multiple owners. The extent to which past land management practices and future intentions for the land are influenced by the number of owners of an individual parcel was evaluated. We also examined how landowner decision-making networks are related to past practices and future intentions. Contrary to previous findings, our research suggests that having more than one owner does not necessarily reduce the likelihood that a variety of different forest management activities, including commercial timber harvesting or wildlife habitat improvement, will occur. Moreover, we found that one-owner forested parcels are less likely to have experienced activities like harvesting, invasive plant removal, fire hazard reduction, wildlife habitat improvement, and cost-share program participation than parcels with two or more than two owners. We also found that family member involvement in landowner decision-making has a minimal effect on past and planned land management actions, while the involvement of a forester or land manager in decision-making increases the likelihood many land management actions have been or will be undertaken.