Certified Forests: preparing private landowners for the future

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2005: $102,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $18,331.00
Region: Southern
State: Mississippi
Principal Investigator:
Glenn Hughes
Mississippi State University Extension Service

Annual Reports


  • Additional Plants: trees, ornamentals


  • Crop Production: forestry
  • Education and Training: extension, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: feasibility study, market study
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities


    Project Investigators: Glenn Hughes Richard P. Vlosky Michael A. Dunn Priyan Perera Project Participants: Cecil Chambliss, forest landowner, Forrest County, MS. Joe Huggins, forest landowner, Lafayette County, MS. We examined the potential for certified forest products in Louisiana and Mississippi. A mail survey of major home retail centers revealed that one-third sell certified wood, and the sale of certified wood is expected to increase. A mail survey of forest landowners revealed that landowners are concerned about certification costs and have distinct preferences about who they trust to administer a certification program. Landowner workshops revealed that landowners are interested in having their land certified, and the Tree Farm System is the preferred system. Certification publications were developed for several audiences. This study better framed certification-related issues from various perspectives. Tables, figures or graphs mentioned in this report are on file in the Southern SARE office. Contact Sue Blum at 770-229-3350 or sueblum@uga.edu for a hard copy.

    Project objectives:

    We conducted a combined research and outreach effort on the potential for certified forest products in Louisiana and Mississippi. The goal of this two-year effort was to a) determine the current and future acceptance of forest certification systems among major retailers, and b) help PNIF landowners make informed decisions about whether or not their lands should be certified, and by what system(s). Products and results from this effort can than be used in other southern states. Specific research objectives included: 1. Identifying current certification systems accepted by major retailers; 2. Determining if major retailers will recognize additional certification systems; and 3. Determining PNIF landowner familiarity with and knowledge of forest certification. Specific outreach objectives included: 1. Conducting 7 workshops for PNIF landowners on forest certification; 2. Preparing a forest landowners guide to forest certification for southern states; 3. Enhancing landowner access to markets for certified forest products; and 4. Developing and implementing instruments that will measure outreach effectiveness. Portions of Sections V and VI below are excerpted from Perera (2008).

    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.