The increasing importance of small-scale forestry: evidence from family forest ownership patterns in the United States
The state-level distribution of the size of family forest holdings in the contiguous United States was examined using data collected by the USDA Forest Service in 1993 and 2003. Regressions models were used to analyze the factors influencing the mean size and structural variation among states and between the two periods. Population density, percent of the population at least 65 years of age, percent of the population residing in urban areas, per capita income, income inequality, and per capita private forestland were found to be significantly correlated with the structure of landholding size. This paper suggests that the number and proportion of small-scale family forest owners in the United States are both increasing due to the increasing importance of non-timber amenities to forest landowners.