|dc.description.abstract||Alabama’s rural lands are experiencing changing trends over the years. During the past few decades, the state has experienced dramatic land use and land cover as well as timberland changes due to rapid economic and population growth. These changes, though meet economic needs, may have impact of timberland management and eventually on hunting demand. This thesis include two essays and an introduction to address the impact of socio-economic and population on land use changes, timberland management, and hunting demand in Alabama.
The first essay (Chapter 2) presents an empirical analysis of the contributing factors that drive land use and its changes in Alabama by applying a weighted regression and seemingly unrelated regression model using the Forestry Inventory and Analysis (FIA) 1990-2018 land use data. Results indicate that land use, land use changes, and timberland management follow the classic land use-theory that higher economic returns cause lands to transit to or remain in a certain use. Population growth is another factor that results in the land use transition. The importance of each driving factor and the policy implications are discussed.
The second essay (Chapter 3) addresses the issue of timberland characteristics and management on hunting in Alabama using a two-stage least square econometric procedure. Results indicate that animals hunted in Alabama are influenced by socio-economic, timberland management, and species composition. Comparing the structural model and reduced-form model estimates, the results indicate that there is magnification of the exogenous variables on hunting demand due to adjustment of species composition. The importance of each driving factor and the policy implications are discussed.||en_US