How large is large? Identifying large corporate ownerships in FIA datasets
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forest ownership, industrial forestry, ownership size
Forest ownership size is a continuous variable, albeit one with a distinctly nonnormal distribution. Although large corporate forest ownerships are expected to differ in terms of behavior and objectives from smaller corporate ownerships, there is no clear and unambiguous means of defined these two ownership groups. We examined the distribution of the ownership size variable and determined that approximately 11 percent of ownerships are statistical outliers in terms of total acreage owned. These ownerships differ significantly in terms of behavior (harvesting and tree planting) and objectives (timber) from smaller and mediumsized ownerships. Consequently, we suggest defining "large" corporate forest ownerships as those owning more than 45,000 acres of land, equivalent to the minimum acreage owned by statistical outliers in the ownership data.
Caputo, Jesse; Butler, Brett; Hartsell, Andy. 2017. How large is large? Identifying large corporate ownerships in FIA datasets. Res. Pap. NRS-29. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 6 p.