Family forest owner preferences for biomass harvesting in Massachusetts
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Forest Policy and Economics
U.S. forests, including family-owned forests, are a potential source of biomass for renewable energy. Family forest owners constitute a significant portion of the overall forestland in the U.S., yet little is known about family forest owners' preferences for supplying wood-based biomass. The goal of this study is to understand how Massachusetts family forest owners feel about harvesting residual woody biomass from their property. The study estimates the probability that Massachusetts landowners will harvest biomass as part of a timber harvest using data from a survey of 932 Massachusetts family forest owners. Logistic regression results suggest that the likelihood of harvesting for biomass is quite low, and that the supply of participation in biomass harvesting is inelastic with respect to price. These low probabilities may be due to the method used to account for preference uncertainty, as well as the unique nature of Massachusetts forests, forest markets, and landowner attitudes in comparison to other states (e.g., Minnesota). The study suggests that it would be more effective to target renewable energy policy toward different regions and/or markets rather than develop a uniform national policy.
KeywordsFamily forest; Biomass supply; Preference uncertainty; Bioenergy
Markowski-Lindsay, Marla; Stevens, Thomas; Kittredge, David B.; Butler, Brett J.; Catanzaro, Paul; Damery, David. 2012. Family forest owner preferences for biomass harvesting in Massachusetts. Forest Policy and Economics. 14(1): 127-135. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2011.08.001.