Arkansas forest owners survey
If you are an Arkansas landowner with more than 10 acres of forested property, the University of Arkansas at Monticello and the UA System Division of Agriculture wants to hear from you. Nana Tian, assistant professor with the UAM College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the UADA Forest Resources Center is researching the number of landowners who are participants in one of three forest certification programs. The 30-question survey asks landowners about their familiarity with the Forest Stewardship Council, the American Tree Farm System, and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
Arkansas has nearly 19 million acres of forest. Approximately 345,000 non-industrial private landowners own nearly 60% of those forests. Forest industry and corporations control almost one-quarter of the Arkansas forests. The National Forest makes up nearly 14% of the state’s forestland. When it comes to forestry products and timber production, Arkansas is nationally ranked as number six in forestry products valued at over $6.5 billion.
Forest certification is a globally implemented, voluntary program to ensure that forest products originate from land managed with a goal of sustainability. Certified forests not only produce timber, but sustain the ecological, economic, recreational, and social value of a forest. Each certification program has its methods and definitions of best forest management practices. Certifications provide a variety of benefits not only to society but the landowners. Some of those benefits include healthier forests, greater access to markets, premium prices for some buyers, less waste, personal and community pride in knowing the forest will be managed, better environmental practices, better long-term management planning, recognition among industry peers and safer worker environments.
If you didn’t receive the survey in the mail and would like to participate, the survey is available online at https://uark.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cGxPfs1grjAyvAN.
Tian says Landowners do not have to be familiar with any of the certification programs to participate in the survey. For more information, contact the College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources at 870-460-1052.