Do Ownership Structures Effect Forest Management? An analysis of African American family forest landowners

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2017: $260,888.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2021
Grant Recipient: University of Georgia
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Puneet Dwivedi
University of Georgia
Complex ownership structures like absentee ownership and heirs' property could affect management of forestlands owned by African American family landowners in the southern United States. The Theory of Planned Behavior offers a framework for understanding the role of ownership structures, along with other landowner characteristics on forest management intentions and behaviors. We used data from surveys of African American forest landowners in Georgia to inform logit models of legacy goals, management goals, management activity and management planning. Older landowners, male landowners, and landowners who had received professional advice were significantly more likely to have legacy goals, while landowners who did not report obstacles to management were more likely to have management goals. Ownership structures did not have a significant effect on landowners' goals, nor did they have a significant effect on management activities. However, absentee ownership, along with technical advice, significantly affected management planning. Results suggest that rather than the ownership structure, the most important factor in determining forest management is professional advice. The trust and personal relationship between landowners and forest professionals ultimately determine the engagement level of African American forest landowners in sustainable forest management.
Peer-reviewed Journal Article
Target audience:
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.