Date of Award

12-1-2010

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Forestry

First Advisor

Holzmueller, Eric

Abstract

In 1978, the Federal government passed the Forestry Assistance Act which provides guidelines for states to support management on non-industrial private lands through the Forest Stewardship Program (FSP). In 1983, Illinois passed the Illinois Forestry Development Act which outlines the specific requirements for non-industrial private landowners residing in Illinois to take advantage of the FSP. Since the inception of the program, there has been little analysis to determine the quality of land enrolled in the FSP. Launched in 2004, the Spatial Analysis Project is a program sponsored by the US Forest Service to determine the type of land enrolled within FSP. Within each state, the SAP used an aggregate analysis based upon multiple criteria to divide all land available for the FSP into three categories - low, medium, and high stewardship potential. The objective of this project was twofold, first to determine if Illinois is effectively enrolling lands in the high stewardship potential category. Secondly, because timber production must be the primary goal of a FSP plan in Illinois, this study analyzed whether lands classified as high stewardship potential were also high in forest productivity. Results indicate that while Illinois is effectively enrolling high stewardship potential lands, these lands are not necessarily highly productive. This information could be used to give preference for cost-share assistance to those lands that are classified as highly productive, particularly in times when funding is limited, rather than on a first come, first served basis.

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