The Role of Gender in Management Behaviors on Family Forest Lands in the United States
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Journal of Forestry
In the United States, 58% of the 11 million family forest ownerships with at least 10 acres of forestland have at least one female owner. Within the single-owner population of landowners, women are the sole owners of and primary decisionmakers for 31% of ownerships. Despite the number of female family forest owners (FFOs), little research has focused on whether land-use and land-management attitudes and behaviors differ between female and male FFOs. This research uses data from the 2013 iteration of the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service's National Woodland Owner Survey. Random forest analysis and regression techniques were used to understand what factors differentiate single-owner female and male FFOs and whether gender is a significant predictor of select land-use and land-management behaviors. Statistically significant differences between male and female landowners were found; female FFOs are more likely to have inherited land, particularly from a spouse, whereas male respondents were more likely to manage for wildlife, have a commercial timber harvest, and have undertaken management activities in the past 5 years. There are considerable similarities between the attitudes and behaviors of female and male owners, but the differences are important in understanding constraints and barriers and should be considered in the design of forestry programs and outreach.
Keywordsfemale landowners; nonindustrial private forestland; National Woodland Owner Survey; land transfer; family woodland owners
Butler, Sarah M.; Huff, Emily S.; Snyder, Stephanie A.; Butler, Brett J.; Tyrrell, Mary. 2017. The Role of Gender in Management Behaviors on Family Forest Lands in the United States. Journal of Forestry. 116(1): 32-40. https://doi.org/10.5849/jof.2016-076R2.