Sustaining Pennsylvanias Private Forests Jim Finley, Ibberson Professor

Sustaining Pennsylvanias Private Forests Jim Finley, Ibberson Professor

Sustaining Pennsylvanias Private Forests Jim Finley, Ibberson Professor and Director, Center for Private Forests at Penn State Department of Ecosystem Science and Management Private Forest Issues: Private forest owners (Management Challenges) Harvesting practices (High Grading, Quality) Regeneration (Competition, Deer) Invasive species (Insects, Diseases, Plants, Biodiversity and Forest Function)

Parcelization(Access , Parcelization, Legacy) Development (Local Government, Taxes) Markets (Economy, Mills, Loggers) Regulations (Water, Ordinances) 2010 PAs Private Forests 738,000 70 70 60 60 2010 738,000 PFLs (average 16 acres, 25% < 20 acres) 1993 513,900 PFLs (average 24.3 acres, 15.8% < 20 acres) 1978 492,800 PFLs (average 27.4 acres, 15% < 20 acres) 50 50 P e rc e nt P e rc e nt 40 40

Owners Owners Forestland Forestland 30 30 20 20 10 10 0 0 1-10 1-10 10-20 10-20

20-50 20-50 50-100 50-100 100-200 100-200 Forestland owned (Acres) Forestland owned (Acres) 200-500 500-1000 200-500 500-1000 1000+ 1000+ PFL Profile - Sociodemographics Who are they: D Average age 59, 80% > 45

D Mostly male 82% Most are employed full-time (55%) D Next biggest group is retired (35%) Well educated D 65% have some college, 18% have advanced degree Higher income (US Median $44,000 D 30% > $75,000, 12% > $150,000 Some absentee-ism D (absentee owners typically own larger properties) Private Forest Landowner Profile Why do PFLs own their land? Wildlife 62% Solitude 59% Incidental (!) 49% Recreation 34% Personal use of wood 38% Land investment/Family legacy 14% Timber 18% (5% VI, 13% I) - Few have harvested (26%)

Most Important Ownership Objective Attaining Conservation: Depends on understanding values Social Economic Ecological Challenged by Societal understanding? Acceptance of need? Commitment to resource stewardship? Private Forest Issues:

Private forest owners (Management challenges) Harvesting practices (High Grading, Quality) Regeneration (Competition, Deer) Invasive species (Insects, Diseases, Plants, Biodiversity and Forest Function) Parcelization(Access, Parcelization, Legacy) Development (Local Government, Taxes) Markets (Economy, Mills, Loggers) Regulations (Water, Ordinances) Harvesting Practices on Private Forests Forest Land by Stand-size Class 70% 60% 50% 40% Sapling Pole Sawlog 30% 20%

10% 0% 1955 2004 2009 Pennsylvania - Total Trees 1989, 2004, 2009 1,800,000 T h o u s a n d s o f T

r e e s 1,600,000 1,400,000 1,200,000 Total 1998 1,000,000 Total 2004 800,000 Total 2009 600,000 400,000

200,000 0 d Re le ap M rr he c k ac Bl y Su le ap rm ga

n ica er Am h ec Be h rc bi k ac Bl rn ste a E ck lo

m He No n er tr h d re k oa W h as te i h k oa t

u stn e Ch um kg c a Bl W k oa e t hi W e in P

te hi Percent of Samples Meeting Regeneration Criteria, Timber Management (Stands from 40% to 75% Stocked High Deer) Desirable Commercial All Woody 40 % 49 % 54 % Interpretation: Desirable: More than two-thirds would likely fail to regenerate. Commercial: Half would likely fail. All Woody: About half would likely fail. Based on 2009FIA Data

The Deer Conflict Competitive Plants Ferns Hayscented New York Bracken Mountain Laurel Stripped Maple Beech Brush Grapevines

Exotic Insects and Diseases Gypsy Moth 1968 reached PA Hemlock Wooly Adelgid Emerald Ash Borer Thousand Canker Sudden Oak Death Syndrome Asian Longhorned Beetle 2010 PAs Private Forests 738,000 70 60 2010 738,000 PFLs (average 16 acres, 25% < 20 acres 1993 513,900 PFLs (average 24.3 acres, 15.8% < 20 acres) 1978 490,100 PFLs (average 27.4 acres, 15% < 20 acres)

P e r c e nt 50 40 Owners Forestland 30 20 10 0 1-10 10-20 20-50 50-100 100-200

Forestland owned (Acres) 200-500 500-1000 1000+ PA Private Forest Ownership by Region Region NC NE NW SC SE SW Owners (Number) 107,628 167,934

36,835 108,335 132,017 185,299 Total 738,048 Private Forest (Acres) Avg. Holding (Acres) 2,767,791 25.7 2,881,274 17.2 928,309 25.2 2,107,533 19.0 989,745 7.5 2,501,968

13.5 12,176,620 16.5 Twenty-five Pennsylvania Counties Biophysical and Social constraints by owners 60% 50% 39.7% 40% Breakdown of biophysical, social constraints by owners 30% 24.7% 49.2% 20% 10%

15.0% 0.8% 0% Uncon. Hardwood Development Council 2008 Social Roads 5.5% Water 2.8% 2.0% Slope Mult.

Owner Values and Market Opportunities Market needs vary regionally Volume Quality Species Supply potential Ownership patterns Competition Owner values vary regionally Pennsylvanias Private Forests Persistent threats to forest stewardship happens when ownership changes Changes in ownership often result in changed management and use decisions Tenure D Most change at owner exchange - Timber harvesting - Parcelization PFL Future Plans

14% plan to sell forestland as is 12% plan to establish trusts 9% plan conservation easements 9% plan to subdivide 45% plan to let heirs handle it 30% plan to leave forestland to 1 child 50% plan to leave forestland to >1 child 57% - It is important to me that my forestland remain in the family (Parcelization Study) Pennsylvanias Private Forests While 80% of forest owners plan to keep forestland in the family D Only 40% have discussed the plan with their children D Only 35% of children are involved with the current forest plan

Even fewer landowners have a plan in place The Situation in Pennsylvani a In 2003, 375 600 forest and farm acres lost daily 64% forestland owners < 10 acres; 472,000 owners Average forest owner < 16 acres; Tenure < 13 years Changing land ethic with land use change NEED Approaches to conserve working forests Attaining Conservation: Depends on understanding values

Social Economic Ecological Challenged by Societal understanding? Acceptance of need? Commitment to resource stewardship? Conservation is not merely a thing to be enshrined in outdoor museums, but a way of living on the land; . . .It must ultimately prevail on all lands, public and private, or go down in history as a pleasant but futile pipe-dream. Aldo Leopold, 1927

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