Forest landowner attitudes toward shortleaf pine restoration: results of nine Missouri focus groups

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  • Authors: Scroggins, Heather; Gwaze, David; Baumer, Michele
  • Publication Year: 2013
  • Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
  • Source: In: Guldin, James M., ed. 2013. Proceedings of the 15th biennial southern silvicultural research conference. e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-GTR-175. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 559-560.

Abstract

Shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata Mill.) once occurred on 6.6 million acres in the State of Missouri, but by the 1970s only 400,000 acres had shortleaf pine. Since 1935 seeds and seedlings have been sold to the public in the State, as well as planted on public lands, for habitat improvement, timber production, and increasing biodiversity. In Missouri, as in many other States, the majority of forest land (approximately 85 percent) is privately owned. In essence, if shortleaf pine restoration efforts are to succeed, they must do so on private land. In 2007 and 2008 a series of nine focus groups was conducted in the historic shortleaf pine range of Missouri. The focus groups ranged from approximately 90 to 120 minutes in length, and had anywhere from 6 to 14 participants. Motivations for growing and managing shortleaf pine were varied, and included ease of production, aesthetics, and wildlife habitat goals, as well as a more general restoration ethic. Economic incentives included sales of timber, increased property values, possible improvements in the growth of more valued species like walnuts, and decreased heating and cooling costs. Many focus group participants alluded to the suitability and hardiness of shortleaf pine as a solution to various problematic land characteristics. It would appear that educational efforts and materials should be better targeted, highlighting planting methods, ease of growth, innate suitability for local habitats, and wildlife benefits. In addition, onsite technical assistance to landowners should be continued or expanded if possible, and increased field days or farm tours should be considered.

  • Citation: Scroggins, Heather; Gwaze, David; Baumer, Michele 2013. Forest landowner attitudes toward shortleaf pine restoration: results of nine Missouri focus groups. In: Guldin, James M., ed. 2013. Proceedings of the 15th biennial southern silvicultural research conference. e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-GTR-175. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 559-560.
  • Posted Date: June 19, 2013
  • Modified Date: August 2, 2013
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