Title

Carbon Sequestration on Nonindustrial Private Forest Lands for Climate Change Mitigation in the Southern United States

Advisor

Munn, Ian A.

Committee Member

Grado, Stephen C.

Committee Member

Grala, Robert K.

Committee Member

Henderson, James E.

Date of Degree

1-1-2015

Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Major

Forestry

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

College

College of Forest Resources

Department

Department of Forestry

Abstract

To effectively implement climate change mitigation and carbon sequestration activities in the southern US, nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) landowner participation is necessary because of the significant number of acres of forest land under their ownership. This study intended to develop a typology of NIPF landowners based on their reasons of owning forestland, assess their attitude toward climate change and carbon sequestration, and evaluate their participation behavior toward forest carbon sequestration in the southern US. A mail survey of NIPF landowners in the southern US was used to collect the data necessary for this study. Study results indicated that landowners in the southern US could be segmented into multi-objective, timber and amenity oriented landowners; and landowner groups differed in terms of their ownership characteristics, management behavior, and interest toward forest carbon sequestration. Additionally, the southern landowner attitudes toward climate change and carbon sequestration could be grouped into positive, negative, and undecided types; with the undecided group composing the largest proportion of landowners. However, few landowners indicated having a good understanding of forest carbon sequestration, indicating the need for more education and outreach activities in this region. In addition, landowner willingness to participate in carbon sequestration practices was different when such practices were more profitable, revenue neutral or less profitable than timber management only. Although many landowners would require a significant profit to participate in carbon sequestration programs, others would participate with little or no incentives. Those having recreational goals for their property were the most likely landowners to participate in carbon sequestration. Similarly, positive attitudes toward climate change (i.e., with a belief that climate change is scientifically proven) and a good understanding of forest carbon sequestration positively affected landowner participation in forest carbon sequestration. Economic implementation of climate change policy could be achieved by designing education, incentives, or assistance programs to connect with recreational goal landowners in the southern US.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/18553

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