Small-scale Forestry

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 377–395 | Cite as

Variations in the Social Networks of Forest Owners: The Effect of Management Activity, Resource Professionals, and Ownership Size

  • Tatyana B. Ruseva
  • Tom P. Evans
  • Burnell C. Fischer
Research Paper

Abstract

Social networks play an important role in the communication of information among forest owners and how owners process that information in making land management decisions. This article examines variations in the social network characteristics of family forest owners using survey data and interviews with 42 owners in south-central Indiana. We examine how network structure and content vary by harvesting activity, information sources, ownership attributes, sociodemographic characteristics, and location. Quantitative measures of network size and diversity, along with a qualitative understanding of network content and function are discussed and compared for active and passive forest managers. We find that active managers (people who had a recent timber harvest) had at least twice as many social ties related to forest management compared to passive managers, particularly after accounting for parcel ownership size, forest area, and total landholding size. Learning and service were the main functions of these networks, with learning being the most frequently cited reason for talking to others regardless of the management profile of forest owners. The study contributes to a growing interest in mixed-methods approaches to network studies and research on social networks in private forestry.

Keywords

Ego networks Family forest owners Network structure Network diversity Network content 

Supplementary material

11842_2014_9260_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (351 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 350 kb)

References

  1. Alig RJ, Lee KJ, Moulton R (1990) Likelihood of timber management on nonindustrial private forests: evidence from research studies. General Technical Report SE-60. USDA Forest Service, Southeast Forest Experiment Station, Asheville, NCGoogle Scholar
  2. Beach RH, Pattanayak SK, Yang JC, Murray BC, Abt RC (2005) Econometric studies of non-industrial private forest management: a review and synthesis. For Policy Econ 7(3):261–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bengston D, Asah S, Butler B (2011) The diverse values and motivations of family forest owners in the United States: an analysis of an open-ended question in the National Woodland Owner Survey. Small Scale For 10:339–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bergmann SA, Bliss JC (2004) Foundations of crossboundary cooperation: resource management at the public-private interface. Soc Nat Resour 17(5):377–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bodin O, Prell C (2011) Social networks and natural resource management: uncovering the social fabric of environmental governance, 1st edn. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Borgatti SP (2006) E-NET software for the analysis of ego-network data. Analytic Technologies, Needham, MAGoogle Scholar
  7. Borgatti SP, Mehra A, Brassm DJ, Labianca G (2009) Network analysis in the social sciences. Science 323(5916):892–895PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boyatzis RE (1998) Transforming qualitaitive information: thematic analysis and code development. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CAGoogle Scholar
  9. Bultena GL, Hoiberg EO (1986) Sources of informatoon and technical assistance for farmers in controlling soil erosion. In: Lovejoy SB, Napier TL (eds) Conserving soil: insights from socioeconomic research. Soil Conservation Society of America, Ankeny, IA, pp 71–82Google Scholar
  10. Butler BJ (2008) Family forest owners of the United States, 2006. General Technical Report NRS-27. USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Newtown Square, PA. www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/15758
  11. Butler BJ, Leatherberry EC (2004) America’s family forest owners. J For 102(7):4–14Google Scholar
  12. Butler BJ, Tyrrell M, Feinberg G, Van Manen S, Wiseman L, Wallinger S (2007) Understanding and reaching family forest owners: lessons from social marketing research. J For 105(7):348–357Google Scholar
  13. CIPEC (Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change) (2008) A survey of forest and land management in south-central Indiana. Indiana University, Bloomington, CIPECGoogle Scholar
  14. Crossley N (2010) The social world of the network: combining qualitative and quantitative elements in social network analysis. Sociologica 1:1–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dickerson B (1971) Communicating fire prevention messages effectively. J For 69:812–813Google Scholar
  16. Edwards G (2010) Mixed-method approaches to social network analysis. NCRM Discussion Paper. Report No. NCRM/015. National Centre for Research Methods, University of Manchester. http://eprints.ncrm.ac.uk/842/
  17. Evans TP, Kelley H (2008) Assessing the transition from deforestation to forest regrowth with an agent-based model of land cover change for south-central Indiana. Geoforum 39(2):819–832CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fischer AP (2012) Identifying policy target groups with qualitative and quantitative methods: the case of wildfire risk on nonindustrial private forest lands. For Pol Econ 25:62–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fischer BC, Ruseva TB (2010) What is happening in and outside America’s private woodlands? J For 108(6):304–306 (Invited Response to Coufal et al. J For 108(6):301–304)Google Scholar
  20. Fischer AP, Bliss J, Ingemarson F, Lidestav G, Lönnstedt L (2010) From the small woodland problem to ecosocial systems: the evolution of social research on small-scale forestry in Sweden and the USA. Scand J For Res 25:390–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Folkman W (1963) Levels and sources of forest fire prevention knowledge of California hunters. Res. Paper PSW-11. Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Berkeley, CA. http://treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/29557
  22. Gass R, Rickenbach M, Schulte L, Zeuli K (2009) Cross-boundary coordination on forested landscapes: investigating alternatives for implementation. J Environ Manag 43(1):107–117Google Scholar
  23. Granovetter MS (1973) The strength of weak ties. Am J Sociol 78(6):1360–1380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Heath S, Fuller A, Johnston B (2009) Chasing shadows: defining network boundaries in qualitative social network analysis. Qual Res 9(5):645–661CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hollstein B (2011) Qualitative approaches. In: Scott J, Carrington PJ (eds) The Sage handbook of social network analysis. Sage, London, pp 404–417Google Scholar
  26. Hujala T, Tikkanen J (2008) Boosters of and barriers to smooth communication in family forest owners’ decision making. Scand J For Res 23(5):466–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hujala T, Pykäläinen J, Tikkanen J (2007) Decision making among Finnish non-industrial private forest owners: the role of professional opinion and desire to learn. Scand J For Res 22(5):454–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Joshi S, Arano KG (2009) Determinants of private forest management decisions: a study on West Virginia NIPF landowners. For Pol Econ 11:118–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kittredge DB (2005) The cooperation of private forest owners on scales larger than their individual property: international examples and potential application in the United States. For Pol Econ 7:671–688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kittredge DB, Rickenbach MG, Knoot TG, Snellings E, Erazo A (2013) It’s the network: how personal connections shape decisions about private forest use. North J Appl For 30(2):67–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Knoke D, Yang S (2008) Social network analysis, 2nd edn. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CAGoogle Scholar
  32. Knoot T, Rickenbach M (2011) Best management practices and timber harvesting: the role of social networks in shaping landowner decisions. Scand J For Res 26(2):171–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Knoot T, Schulte L, Rickenbach M (2010) Oak conservation and restoration on private forestlands: negotiating a social-ecological landscape. J Environ Manag 45(1):155–164Google Scholar
  34. Koontz TM (2001) Money talks—but to whom? Financial versus nonmonetary motivations in land use decisions. Soc Natur Resour 14:51–65Google Scholar
  35. Korhonen K, Hujala T, Kurttila M (2012) Reaching forest owners through their social networks in timber sales. Scand J For Res 27(1):88–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kueper AM, Sagor ES, Becker DR (2013) Learning from landowners: examining the role of peer exchange in private landowner outreach through landowner networks. Soc Natur Resour 28:912–930. doi:10.1080/08941920.2012.722748 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lin N (1982) Social resources and instrumental action. In: Marsden P, Lin N (eds) Social structure and network analysis. Sage, Beverly Hills, CA, pp 131–145Google Scholar
  38. Maletta H (2007) Weighting: Raynald’s SPSS tools. http://www.spsstools.net/Tutorials/WEIGHTING.pdf
  39. McCarty C, Killworth PD, Rennell J (2007) Impact of methods for reducing respondent burden on personal network structural measures. Soc Networks 29:300–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. NFF (Nordic Family Forestry) (2013) Facts on forests in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. http://www.nordicforestry.org/default.asp (right column)
  41. Nordlund A, Westin K (2011) Forest values and forest management attitudes among private forest owners in Sweden. Forests 2:30–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nybakk E, Crespell P, Hansen E, Lunnan A (2009) Antecedents to forest owner innovativeness: an investigation of the non-timber forest products and services sector. Forest Ecol Manag 257(2):608–618CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Patton MQ (2002) Qualitative research and evaluation methods, 3rd edn. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CAGoogle Scholar
  44. Pescosolido BA (2006) Sociology of social networks. In: Bryant CD, Peck DL (eds) The handbook of 21st century sociology. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp 208–217Google Scholar
  45. Prell C (2011) Social network analysis: history, theory and methodology. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CAGoogle Scholar
  46. Prell C, Hubacek K, Reed M (2009) Stakeholder analysis and social network analysis in natural resource management. Soc Natur Resour 22(6):501–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Prokopy LS, Floress K, Klotthor-Weinkauf D, Baumgart-Getz A (2008) Determinants of agricultural best management practice adoption: evidence from the literature. J Soil Water Conserv 63(5):300–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rickenbach M (2009) Serving members and reaching others: the performance and social networks of a landowner cooperative. For Pol Econ 11:593–599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rickenbach M, Zeuli K, Sturgess-Cleek E (2005) Despite failure: the emergence of ‘‘new’’ forest owners in private forest policy in Wisconsin, USA. Scand J For Res 20(6):503–513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rickenbach M, Schulte LA, Kittredge DB, Labich WG, Shinneman DJ (2011) Cross-boundary cooperation: a mechanism for sustaining ecosystem services from private lands. J Soil Water Conserv 66(4):91A–96ACrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Row C (1978) Economies of tract size in timber growing. J For 76:576–582Google Scholar
  52. Schraml U (2003) Expectations towards forestry: the influence of personal networks with forest owners. Urban For Urban Greening 1(3):161–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Sisock ML (2009) Private forest owners’ communication networks: exploring the structural basis for cross-boundary cooperation. Ph.D. thesis. University of Wisconsin-MadisonGoogle Scholar
  54. Smith JA, Flowers P, Larkin M (2009) Interpretative phenomenological analysis: theory, method, and research. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CAGoogle Scholar
  55. Straka TJ, Wisdom HW, Moak JE (1984) Size of forest holding and investment behavior of nonindustrial private owners. J For 82:495–496Google Scholar
  56. Vokoun M, Amacher GS, Wear DN (2006) Scale of harvesting by non-industrial private forest landowners. J For Econ 11:223–244Google Scholar
  57. Vokoun M, Amacher GS, Sullivan J, Wear D (2010) Examining incentives for adjacent non-industrial private forest landowners to cooperate. For Pol Econ 12(2):104–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Warriner GK, Moul TM (1992) Kinship and personal communication network influences on the adoption of agriculture conservation technology. J Rural Stud 8(3):279–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. West PC, Fly JM, Blahna DJ, Carpenter EM (1988) The communication and diffusion of NIPF management strategies. North J Appl For 5:265–270Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Steve Harrison, John Herbohn 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tatyana B. Ruseva
    • 1
  • Tom P. Evans
    • 2
  • Burnell C. Fischer
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Government and Justice StudiesAppalachian State UniversityBooneUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geography, The Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy AnalysisIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.School of Public and Environmental Affairs, The Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy AnalysisIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations