Brett ButlerBrett Butler

Adjunct Professor


Phone: 413-545-1387

Office: 201 Holdsworth Hall

Websites: Family Forest Research Center,

Curriculum vitae

Primary Interests

My current research focuses on survey methods for collecting information from private forestland owners, analyzing trends in private forest-land owners and the land that they own, and studying the factors that influence decisions made by private landowners. I am the director of the U.S. Forest Service’s National Woodland Owner Survey, co-director of the Family Forest Research Center, and involved in a number of related projects, such as the Sustaining Family Forests Initiative.

Current Projects

  • USDA Forest Service, National Woodland Owner Survey (
  • Sustaining Family Forests Initiative (
  • USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Project: Understanding and Informing Family Forest Owner Decisions of Land Transfer
  • National Science Foundation, Coupled Natural-Human Systems Project: Assessing the Potential for Climate Change and Forest Insects to Drive Land-Use Regime Shifts

Recent Courses Taught

  • Design, Implementation, and Analysis of  Surveys of People(ECO 697 SV)
  • Current Research in Natural Resources Conservation (ECO 691A – Departmental Seminar)

Recent Publications

Butler, B. J., Butler, S. M., Dennings, K., & Knoot, T. G. (2018). What Influences Whether Family Forest Owners Participate in Outreach Campaigns?. JOURNAL OF EXTENSION56(7).

Butler, S. M., Huff, E. S., Snyder, S. A., Butler, B. J., & Tyrrell, M. (2017). The role of gender in management behaviors on family forest lands in the United States. Journal of Forestry116(1), 32-40.

Aguilar, F.X.; Cai, Z.; Butler, B. 2017. Proximal Association of Land Management Preferences: Evidence from Family Forest Owners. PLOS ONE 12(1):e0169667.

Thompson, J.R.; Canham, C.D.; Morreale, L.; Kittredge, D.B.; Butler, B. 2017. Social and Biophysical Variation in Regional Timber Harvest Regimes. Ecological Applications.

Andrejczyk, K.; Butler, B.J.; Dickinson, B.J.; Hewes, J.H.; Markowski-Lindsay, M.; Kittredge, D.B.; Kilgore, M.A.; Snyder, S.A.; Catanzaro, P.F. 2016. Family forest owners’ perceptions of landowner assistance programs in the USA: A qualitative exploration of program impacts on behaviour. Small-scale Forestry 15:17–28.

Andrejczyk, K.; Butler, B.J.; Tyrell, M., L.; Langer, J. 2016. Hansel and Gretel walk in the forest, landowners walk in the woods: A qualitative examination of the language used by family forest owners. Journal of Forestry 114(1):52–57.

Butler, B.J.; Hewes, J.H.; Tyrrell, M.L.; Butler, S.M. 2016. Methods for increasing cooperation rates for surveys of family forest owners. Small-scale Forestry.

Butler, S.M.; Butler, B.J.; Markowski-Lindsay, M. 2016. Family Forest Owner Characteristics Shaped by Life Cycle, Cohort, and Period Effects. Small-scale Forestry: 1–18.

Butler, B.J.; Hewes, J.H.; Dickinson, B.J.; Andrejczyk, K.; Butler, S.M.; Markowski-Lindsay, M. 2016. Family Forest Ownerships of the United States, 2013: Findings from the USDA Forest Service’s National Woodland Owner Survey. Journal of Forestry 114(6): 638–647.

Kilgore, M.A.; Snyder, S.A.; Eryilmaz, D.; Markowski-Lindsay, M.A.; Butler, B.J.; Kittredge, D.B.; Catanzaro, P.F.; Hewes, J.H.; Andrejczyk, K. 2015. Assessing the relationship between different forms of landowner assistance and family forest owner behaviors and intentions. Journal of Forestry 113(1):12–19.

Sun, X.; Zhang, D.; Butler, B.J. 2015. Timberland Ownerships and Reforestation in the Southern United States. Forest Science 61(2):336–343.

Zhang, D.; Sun, X.; Butler, B.J.; Prestemon, J.P. 2015. Harvesting Choices and Timber Supply among Landowners in the Southern United States. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics

Butler, B.J.; Hewes, J.H.; Liknes, G.C.; Nelson, M.D.; Snyder, S.A. 2014. A comparison of techniques for generating forest ownership spatial products. Applied Geography 46: 21–34.

Butler, B.J.; Markowski-Lindsay, M.; Snyder, S.; Catanzaro, P.; Kittredge, D.B.; Andrejczyk, K.; Dickinson, B.J.; et al. 2014. Effectiveness of Landowner Assistance Activities: An Examination of the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Stewardship Program. Journal of Forestry 112(2): 187–197.

Greene, J.L.; Butler, B.J.; Catanzaro, P.F.; Hewes, J.H.; Kilgore, M.A.; Kittredge, D.B.; Ma, Z.; Tyrrell, M.L. 2014. Family forest owners and federal taxes. Forest Policy and Economics 38: 219–226.

Ma, Z.; Butler, B.J.; Catanzaro, P.F.; Greene, J.L.; Hewes, J.H.; Kilgore, M.A.; Kittredge, D.B.; Tyrrell, M. 2014. The effectiveness of state preferential property tax programs in conserving forests: Comparisons, measurements, and challenges. Land Use Policy 36:492–499

Shifley, S.R.; Moser, Keith; Nowak, David; Miles, Patrick; Butler, Brett; Aguilar, Francisco; DeSantis, Ryan; Greenfield, Eric. 2014. Five anthropogenic factors that will radically alter forest conditions and management needs in the northern United States. Forest Science 60(5): 914–925.

Song, N.; Aguilar, F.X.; Butler, B.J. 2014. Conservation easements and management by family forest owners: A propensity score matching approach with multi-imputation of survey data. Forest Science 60(2): 298–307.

Song, N.; Aguilar, F.X.; Butler, B.J. 2014. Cost-share program participation and family forest owners’ past and intended future management practices. Forest Policy and Economics 46: 39–46.

Dickinson, B.J.; Butler, B.J. 2013. Methods for estimating private forest ownership statistics: Revised methods for the USDA Forest Service’s National Woodland Owner Survey. Journal of Forestry 111(5): 319–325..

Mondal, P.; Butler, B.J.; Kittredge, D.B.; Moser, W.K. 2013. How are America’s private forests changing? An integrated assessment of forest management, housing pressure, and urban development in alternate emissions scenarios. Land Use Policy 32: 230–238.

Other Publications