Relationships between absenteeism, conservation group membership, and land management among family forest owners
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Land Use Policy
Absentee landowners, or those who do not live on their forestland, own approximately 117 million acres of private forestland in the U.S. Thus, their land management decisions and activities influence the flow of forestbased goods and services. We explore the question of whether absentee family forest owners are less active land managers than resident landowners and whether membership in conservation organizations is associated with higher levels of land management activity by absentee owners. To examine these questions, we administered a mail survey to randomly-selected family forest landowners in Indiana. While we found some support for the contention that absentee owners are less active forestland managers than resident owners, we also found they are not necessarily inactive landowners. We found absentee owners were less likely to have: inspected their forestland for invasive plants, pulled or cut invasive plants, used herbicides to kill invasive plants, reduced fire hazard, or grazed livestock than resident owners. Absentee owners were more likely to be enrolled in the Indiana Classified Forest and Wildlands Program, a preferential forest property tax program. Absentee owners who are members of a conservation organization were more likely than absentee non-member owners to have undertaken a variety of land management activities, including: undertaking wildlife habitat improvement projects, inspecting their forestland for invasive plants, pulling or cutting invasive plants, enrolling in the Indiana Classified Forest and Wildlands program, and obtaining a management plan.
KeywordsForest landowner association Forest property tax Indiana Classified Forest and Wildlands Invasive plant Non-industrial private forest landowner (NIPF) Resident landowner
Snyder, Stephanie A.; Ma, Zhao; Floress, Kristin; Clarke, Mysha. 2020. Relationships between absenteeism, conservation group membership, and land management among family forest owners. Land Use Policy. 91: 104407. 8 p. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2019.104407.