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Peer-reviewed Article

Forest and rangeland owners value land for natural amenities and as financial investment


Shasta Ferranto, UC Berkeley
Lynn Huntsinger, UC Berkeley
Christy M. Getz, UC Berkeley
Gary M. Nakamura, UC Cooperative Extension
William C. Stewart, UC Cooperative Extension
Sabrina L. Drill, UC Cooperative Extension
Yana Valachovic, UC Cooperative Extension
Michael DeLasaux, UC Cooperative Extension
Maggi Kelly, UC Berkeley

publication information

California Agriculture 65(4):184-191. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v065n04p184. October-December 2011.


Forty-two percent of California's forests and rangelands are privately owned (34 million acres). These lands provide important ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, pollination and wildlife habitat, but little is known about the people who own and manage them. We surveyed forest and rangeland owners in California and found that these long-time landowners value their properties for their natural amenities and as a financial investment. Owners of large properties (500 or more acres) were significantly more likely to use their land for income production than owners of smaller properties, and they were also more likely to carry out or be interested in environmental improvements. Many forest and rangeland owners reported they had been previously approached to sell their land for development. Only about one-third had participated in conservation programs; few had conservation easements. This survey can help guide outreach and education efforts, and the development of information, policies, programs and financial incentives for landowners.

author affiliations

S. Ferranto is Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, UC Berkeley; L. Huntsinger is Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, UC Berkeley;; C. Getz is Associate Cooperative Extension Specialist, UC Berkeley; G. Nakamura is UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Specialist, Shasta County (retired); W. Stewart is Cooperative Extension Specialist, UC Berkeley; S. Drill is Natural Resources Advisor, UCCE Los Angeles County; Y. Valachovic is Forest Advisor and County Director, UCCE Del Norte County; M. DeLasaux is Natural Resources Advisor, UCCE Plumas-Sierra; M. Kelly is Cooperative Extension Specialist and Adjunct Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, UC Berkeley.


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