The influence of financial incentive programs in promoting sustainable forestry on the nation's family forests
Financial incentive programs were evaluated to assess their contribution to promoting sustainable forestry practices on the nation’s family forests. The evaluation consisted of an extensive review of the literature on financial incentive programs, a mail survey of the lead administrator of financial incentive programs in each state forestry agency, and focus groups with family forest owners in four regions of the country. The study found that financial incentive programs have limited influence on forest owners’ decisions regarding the management and use of their land. Family forest owners viewed one-on-one access to a forester or other natural resource professional to “walk the land” with them and discuss their management alternatives as the most important type of assistance that can be provided. Recommendations for increasing the effectiveness of financial incentive programs in promoting sustainable forestry are discussed.