Effectiveness of financial incentive programs in promoting sustainable forestry in the west
Selected forestry officials in each of the 13 western states were surveyed in 2005 concerning their opinions on the public and private financial incentive programs available to nonindustrial private forest owners in their state. The officials were asked to name and describe the programs and to assess forest owners’ awareness of each one, its appeal among owners aware of it, its effectiveness in encouraging sustainable forestry and enabling owners to meet their objectives, and the percent of program practices that remain in place and enrolled acres that remain in forest over time. They also were asked to suggest ways to improve the programs. The FSP, FLEP, and FLP were among the top-rated federal programs. Programs sponsored by states and private organizations tended to be more narrowly targeted than federal programs and scored well for specific attributes of sustainability. The officials’ suggestions for program improvement largely centered on increasing visibility and availability, ensuring long-term consistency in funding, and simplifying the application and approval processes.