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Bio-Based Paths to Prosperity for Small and Medium Forest Landowners: A Pilot Study in Southwest Louisiana

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DOI: 10.4236/ojf.2012.24034    5,015 Downloads   12,080 Views  

ABSTRACT

Forest biomass has great potential as a biofuel feedstock, but information on forest owner perceptions of using forest biomass to produce bioenergy is lacking. In this case study, we surveyed 3500 small to medium private forest landowners in southwestern Louisiana to better understand their attitudes and perceptions towards harvesting forest biomass for bioenergy production. Results indicate that landowners: 1) were positive about utilizing biomass for bioenergy, 2) believe viable biomass conversion technologies exist, 3) had antagonistic or neutral attitudes towards some technological, economic, and policy issues associated with using forest biomass for bioenergy due in part to lack of information or knowledge, and 4) felt biomass is a low-value product compared to traditional products. Landowners’ perceptions of participating in bio-based activities and markets vary among age and ownership size, and 51% of forest landowners were willing to participate in management activities specifically geared for bioenergy production.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Smithhart, R. , Vlosky, R. , Blazier, M. , Darby, P. , Hughes, G. & Terrell, D. (2012). Bio-Based Paths to Prosperity for Small and Medium Forest Landowners: A Pilot Study in Southwest Louisiana. Open Journal of Forestry, 2, 272-278. doi: 10.4236/ojf.2012.24034.

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