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5.1 Introduction

Nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) landowners play a vital role in sustaining forest resources. In 1997, NIPF land provided about 50 percent of the softwood harvest and 75 percent of hardwood harvest nationwide(Haynes, in press). As timber harvests from Federal land have been reduced in recent years, the supply of timber from NIPF land has become more crucial.

Two important barriers to NIPF landowner investments to optimize forest productivity are the lack of "up-front" capital and low expected rates of return. Cost-sharing programs are designed to help NIPF landowners by reducing their initial costs for reforestation and improving rates of return.

Federal cost-share funding was insufficient to meet the needs of NIPF landowners in many Southern States. Several Southern States, therefore, established forestry cost-sharing programs in the 1970's and 1980's (Table 2 and Table 3). Funding for these programs increased over 60 percent between 1981 and 1985 (Bullard and Straka 1988). Two States, Louisiana and Tennessee implemented programs in the late 1990's.

The largest State programs in terms of payments and acreage treated are in the South. Southern States with programs include Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia (Figure 1). Outside the South, as of 1994, cost-share assistance programs for timber production had been established only in California, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, and Oregon (Haines 1995).

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content: James E. Granskog and Terry K. Haines
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created: 21-NOV-2001