Oregon State University researchers conducted a survey in 1994 of non-industrial private forest (NIPF) landowners in western Oregon and western Washington. Private forests provide valuable ecological services, such as fish and wildlife habitat, and are also partially filling the gap created by recent reductions in federal timber harvest in the region. The purpose of the study was to assess demographic characteristics, timber management practices, harvest decisions, attitudes toward government regulation, and the use of government assistance by NIPF landowners in western Oregon and western Washington. NIPF owners are a very heterogenous class with diverse objectives, ranging from timber production to the enjoyment of owning "green space". Most of the owners surveyed had harvested timber from their land and had used a variety of methods, including clearcuts (28%) and thinnings and other partial cuts (60%). A majority (68%) said they would alter the amount and timing of their harvest if it were necessary to maintain a healthy ecosystem. However, most owners would not be willing to give up their right to harvest timber altogether, even if offered a tax incentive. Many of the results differed between owners of large acreages and owners of small acreages.
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