If A Tree Falls in A Forest, Why Do People Care? An Analysis of Private Family Forest Owners’ Reasons for Owning Forest in the United States National Woodland Owner Survey - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Small-Scale Forestry Year : 2023

If A Tree Falls in A Forest, Why Do People Care? An Analysis of Private Family Forest Owners’ Reasons for Owning Forest in the United States National Woodland Owner Survey

Abstract

At its heart, forest management is grounded in valuation, with questions regarding what, how, and how much individuals value the forest being fundamental for efficient management. In this paper, we try to understand why private family forest owners value their forestland, and how owner and forest characteristics vary depending on the type of value. We estimate the demographic and socio-economic factors behind a suite of stated reasons for owning forest, from traditional market-value reasons to less-traditional, non-market reasons, among others. For our analysis, we use the United States Forest Service's National Woodland Owner Survey (NWOS), a nationwide survey of private forest and woodland ownerships of at least one acre. We are able to identify different groupings of reasons for owning that share similar associated explanatory variables. While our results are generally in agreement with the literature, we find some notable discrepancies, such as a consistent negative association with education level and timber harvest as a reason for owning. This highlights a potential difference between stated and actual preferences. We believe that our results are useful when designing and disseminating information for policy, such as for promoting endangered species conservation or targeting individuals for enrollment in conservation easement, green certification, or cost-share programs.
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hal-04039725 , version 1 (21-03-2023)

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David Shanafelt, Jesse Caputo, Jens Abildtrup, Brett Butler. If A Tree Falls in A Forest, Why Do People Care? An Analysis of Private Family Forest Owners’ Reasons for Owning Forest in the United States National Woodland Owner Survey. Small-Scale Forestry, 2023, 22 (2), pp.303-321. ⟨10.1007/s11842-022-09530-y⟩. ⟨hal-04039725⟩
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