NWOS BookletWith the help of half a dozen dedicated undergraduate student workers, the Family Forest Research Center, a joint effort between the University of Massachusetts and the USDA Forest Service, has launched the 2011 version of the National Woodland Owner Survey.  In the upcoming weeks roughly 18,000 private landowners across the country will open their mailboxes to find a copy of the questionnaire, asking about who they are, why they own land, what they’ve done with it in the past, and what they plan to do with it in the future.

An estimated 11 million private owners collectively control over half of the forested land in the United States.  Of these 11 million owners, 92% are families, individuals, trusts, estates, and other unincorporated groups.

The recurring survey, last conducted in 2006, provides information on changes in attitude and behavior and allows a better understanding of this diverse and dynamic group that will help to foster better forest policies, more effective services and programs, and increased public awareness of the importance of family forests.

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