Family forest owners affect the ecosystem services that forests provide and, thus, their management decisions are of interest to the forestry sector. There are many programs available to help family forest owners reduce the management costs, some of which involve a reduced tax burden in exchange for active management. Research Highlights: this study is the first to examine the family forest owners enrolled in a statewide forest property taxation program in Michigan in order to understand how parcel characteristics affect management decisions. Background and Objectives: the goal is to understand the relationships between parcel characteristics and family forest owner management decisions for these program enrollees. Materials and Methods: a dataset of enrollment information was compiled and cleaned, which resulted in 20,915 unique forest stands in the state. Key variables analyzed via multinomial regression include stand condition, size, density, forest types, and forest practices. Results: region, forest type, and stand size significantly predicted forest practices. Conclusions: given that stand and parcel characteristics significantly predict forest practice, it may be useful to use these data, rather than self-reported management data from the owners themselves in order to understand future management trajectories of private forests. These data also describe forest practices of enrollees in a tax program, demonstrating that the program is successfully incentivizing management and shedding light on how these programs can promote conservation and stewardship of private forests.
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