Perceptions of stakeholder groups about the participation of African American family forest landowners in federal landowner assistance programs
This study examines perceptions of three stakeholder groups (African American Family Forest Landowner, Government Agency, and Nonprofit) regarding federal landowner assistance programs in the southern United States by combining a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat) analysis with the AHP (analytical hierarchy process). Factors with the highest priority values were professional advice, lack of staff members, forestland retention, and heirs’ property under the SWOT categories of strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat across stakeholder groups, respectively. The guidelines for existing federal landowner assistance programs do not match the needs of African American family forest landowners, especially the mandatory requirements of clear land titles and initial upfront payments. Policy changes coupled with a more targeted and personal outreach approach focusing on capacity building of African American family forest landowners is needed to increase their participation in federal landowner assistance programs.