Small-scale Forestry

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 17–28 | Cite as

Family Forest Owners’ Perceptions of Landowner Assistance Programs in the USA: A Qualitative Exploration of Program Impacts on Behaviour

  • Kyle Andrejczyk
  • Brett J. Butler
  • Brenton J. Dickinson
  • Jaketon H. Hewes
  • Marla Markowski-Lindsay
  • David B. Kittredge
  • Michael A. Kilgore
  • Stephanie A. Snyder
  • Paul F. Catanzaro
Research Paper


Using data collected from a series of focus groups, this study examines how landowner assistance programs (which may include management plans, cost-share, technical assistance and advice, and education components) affect family forest owner behaviour in the USA. Not surprisingly, most owners who participated in assistance programs had pre-existing management objectives. Participation in the management plan and cost-share components was found to facilitate the stewardship of private forests by assisting and reinforcing the behaviour of those landowners who already intend to manage their land in some pre-conceived manner. Advice and educational components appeared to do more in terms of introducing owners to new ideas. The mix of components offered as part of a landowner assistance program should consider the goals of the program and which components will be most effective in achieving those goals.


Focus groups Landowner assistance programs Forest Stewardship Program Non industrial private forest owners 



The authors wish to express their sincere gratitude to the family forest owners who participated in this study and provided invaluable insights. This project was funded by a grant from the USDA Forest Service, State and Private Forestry, Cooperative Forestry Staff (Grant Number: 12-CS-11242305-062).


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Copyright information

© Steve Harrison, John Herbohn (outside the USA) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyle Andrejczyk
    • 1
  • Brett J. Butler
    • 2
  • Brenton J. Dickinson
    • 1
  • Jaketon H. Hewes
    • 1
  • Marla Markowski-Lindsay
    • 1
  • David B. Kittredge
    • 3
  • Michael A. Kilgore
    • 4
  • Stephanie A. Snyder
    • 5
  • Paul F. Catanzaro
    • 3
  1. 1.Family Forest Research CenterUniversity of Massachusetts-AmherstAmherstUSA
  2. 2.Northern Research StationUSDA Forest Service, University of Massachusetts-AmherstAmherstUSA
  3. 3.Department of Environmental ConservationUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  4. 4.Department of Forest ResourcesUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA
  5. 5.Northern Research StationUSDA Forest ServiceSt. PaulUSA

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