Theses and Dissertations


John B. Auel

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Grado, Stephen C.

Committee Member

Henderson, James E.

Committee Member

Gordon, Jason S.

Committee Member

Monaghan, Thomas A.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Forest Resources

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Forest Resources


Department of Forestry


Forest certification plays an important role in the forest products industry in Mississippi. Approximately 17% of the state’s 19 million acres of forest land is certified under one of three major systems in the United States. More than two million acres are certified under Sustainable Forestry Initiative, more than one million acres are certified under American Tree Farm System and over 150,000 acres are certified under Forest Stewardship Council. The goal of forest certification is sustainable use of all forest resources, from timber to clean water to recreation. This goal can only be achieved if nonindustrial private forest landowners, loggers, and forestry professionals all agree on the concepts each system espouses. This project surveyed nonindustrial private landowners in Mississippi, members of the Mississippi Loggers Association, and members of the Mississippi Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee, to test their levels of agreement on 12 different Likert Scales or sets of statements representing specific underlying concepts of forest certification. The three groups generally agreed on most aspects of forest certification. There were some significant differences between the groups based on the distribution of responses, however the scale averages never differed by more than 0.7 indicating that while the differences were significant, overall they were still fairly close in their understanding of certification concepts. There were a large number of non-industrial private landowners who were not aware of forest certification. This result has not changed since the last landowner study that was conducted in Mississippi regarding forest certification, almost 10 years ago.