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Where farm and forest meet: Comparing National Woodland Owner Survey respondents with and without farmland

Huff, Emily S., Floress, Kristin, Snyder, Stephanie A., Ma, Zhao, Butler, Sarah
Land use policy 2019 v.87 pp. 104007
agricultural land, attitudes and opinions, farms, forest land, forest management, forest ownership, forests, issues and policy, landowners, outreach, private forestry, soil, surveys, water conservation, woodlands, United States
Much is known about the characteristics, attitudes, and behaviors of U.S. family forest owners and agricultural landowners independently. However, little is known about those who own both woodland and farmland. To address this knowledge gap, we analyze National Woodland Owner Survey data to better understand similarities and differences between family forest owners who also own farmland, and those who do not. We found that, in general, farmland and woodland owners (FWOs) are very similar to woodland-only family forest landowners (FFOs) in terms of ownership objectives, attitudes and forest management activities. However, FWOs are less likely to have under 40 acres (16.2 ha) of forestland, more likely to live on their wooded land, and more likely to own their woodlands as a place to raise their family than woodland-only FFOs. While there is potential for dual forms of outreach, technical and financial assistance, and peer networks as both an agricultural landowner and a forest landowner, forest management behaviors of FWOs do not significantly differ from that of woodland-only FFOs. Professionals from agricultural or forestry extension, soil and water conservation organizations, and others responsible for delivering both agricultural and forestry programs and policy tools could explore opportunities to connect FWOs to both types of landowner programs that can assist them with forest management.