Beyond the timberline: Assessment of Supplemental Income Opportunities, Forest Management Practices, and Attributes of Southern Pine Straw Types
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
Forestry and Wildlife Science
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Of Alabama’s 23 million acres of timberland, over 13 million acres of it is owned by family forest landowners. Therefore, they play a pivotal role in the future of Alabama’s forest. Due to a combination of shift in ownership and land degradation, timberland is being separated into small tracts. Management is likely deficient, as smaller tracts are less likely to have a management plan or received forest management advice. By educating and improving alternative income opportunities, this enables landowners to manage their land to support healthy, sustainable forests. A common opportunity within the Southeast is pine straw. With correct management practices, landowners can take advantage of this enterprise and earn a reliable, annual income. For the proposed study, there are two objectives. First, it is imperative to get a better understanding of what motivates landowners regarding forest management, how supplemental income opportunities are managed, and what are their perspectives regarding markets for alternative income opportunities. Second, it is important to understand the differences among the three most used pine straw species, longleaf, slash, and loblolly, used for mulch in the Southeast.