Evaluating the forest stewardship program through a national survey of participants

Author(s): Esseks, J.D.; Moulton, R.J.

  • Date: 2000
  • Source: In I.A.Munn. Proceedings of the Southern Forest Economics Workshop, Biloxi, MS. 4-18-1999. University of Georgia, Athens, GA.
  • Station ID: --

Description:

This paper reports findings from a national survey of 1,231 participants in the Forest Stewardship Program (FSP) of USDA's Forest Service. Launched in 1991, the FSP provides technical assistance through state forestry agencies to help landowners develop management plans for their non-industrial forestland. The survey allowed us to address five main evaluative questions. The answers we found were largely positive. (1) For the most part, the program was reaching the targeted clientele. Across the four regions, majorities of 57 percent to 73 percent of the surveyed participants reported that they had never before received professional advice for managing their forestland. (2) Majorities of 82 percent to 86 percent had begun to implement their plans, that is, they were carrying out management activities recommended in their plans. (3) In most cases, the practices being implemented amounted to a multiple-purpose approach to management (e.g., with the same owner pursuing both timber stand improvement and wildlife protection). (4) Majorities of 52 percent to 56 percent were applying practices that were new to them. (5) Finally, the program has stimulated its participants to spend considerable money on plan implementation beyond whatever reimbursements they received through cost sharing. Even owners who did not take part in cost share program reported significant expenditures.

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