Local Specialty and Niche Market Potential: Opportunities for Oregon's Small Woodland Owners Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/j9602400z

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  • Small landowners in the state of Oregon find it difficult to be competitive with larger companies to provide traditional forest products to consumers. Additionally, many landowners hope to be profitable from their land, but are not necessarily interested in or have the capability to harvest large tracts of timber. Specialty and niche forest products can potentially offer opportunities for many of Oregon's small landowners to improve stewardship and profitability from their land. To assess aspects of the current local specialty and niche forest products markets, interviews and surveys were conducted. Local area experts were interviewed to understand current market dynamics, a mail survey was administered to landowners and manufacturers in Clackamas and surrounding counties in Oregon, and a consumer survey was administered to attendees of a Local Forest Products Market. Topics that these surveys addressed included interest in specialty and niche forest products, barriers for landowners and manufacturers, the role of forest certification and forest stewardship at the local level, and what additional resources landowners and manufacturers would find most helpful. Results show that landowners, manufacturers, and consumers desire a stronger local economy and agree that forest stewardship is beneficial to the economy, society, and the environment. While landowners and manufacturers are most interested in pursuing markets for building materials and specialty woods, consumers are most interested in purchasing forest based foods and handicraft items. Landowners and manufacturers agree that the largest barriers to improving the local forest products sector are government regulations, and both agree that more marketing resources would be the most helpful. Some potential economic development projects for the region as identified by the results of this work include developing more outlets for regional forest products sales, development of educational materials for the public and forest sector employees, and the adoption of agroforestry practices to help landowners diversify forestlands and income.
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