Investigating the objectives of the new owners of Alabama's Timberlands
Type of Degreethesis
Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology
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Alabama has over 71% of its land area covered with forests and boasts of the third largest commercial forestland area in the United States. The forest products industry is a major employer in Alabama. This industry accounts for over 15% of payroll and employment of about 170,000 people both directly and indirectly. Recent developments in timberland ownership in Alabama have seen a move of ownership of timber lands from corporations in the forest product industry to Timberland Investment Management Organizations and Real Estate Investment Trusts. Ownership changes have the potential to propel land use changes. This could open up new opportunities but can also have several undesirable consequences for rural people and communities dependent on forest resources. Using detailed interviews with leaders within Timberland Investment Management Organizations and Real Estate Investment Trusts, previous land owners, and knowledgeable persons in both governmental and non-governmental organizations, and the theory of financialization, this study presents a comparative study on the management objectives of new forestland owners in three Alabama counties.