America's family forest owners

Brett J. Butler, Earl C. Leatherberry, Constance Best, Michael A. Kilgore, R. Neil Sampson, Keville Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

252 Scopus citations


The number of family forest owners in the conterminous United States increased from 9.3 million in 1993 to 10.3 million in 2003, and these owners now control 42% of the nation's forestland. The reasons why people own forestland are diverse. Some of the more common ones are aesthetic enjoyment, the tract is part of a farm or home site, and to pass the land on to heirs. Half of the family forest owners have harvested trees, but only 3% of them have a written forest-management plan. Trends in owners' ages and future land-use intentions suggest widescale transfers of family forestland in the near future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-14
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Forestry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2004


  • Forest inventory
  • Landowner survey
  • National Woodland Owner Survey
  • Nonindustrial private forests
  • Small-scale forestry

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