University of Vermont


Family Forests and Small-Scale Forestry

State Support for Landowners

In the US, states have traditionally played an active role in assisting forest landowners, and many states have taken the lead in addressing climate change. As interest in climate change mitigation has grown, a number of states have developed programs to encourage carbon-oriented forest management. Our State Support program of research examines issues of equity and effectiveness in state programs to help family and communiy forest owners manage for carbon and access carbon markets.

Current Research

We are currently collaborating with USDA Forest Service to conduct a study of state-run programs that help forest landowners manage for carbon or sell forest carbon credits. To get landowner perspectives, we are conducting interviews of program participants from states across the nation. We are interested in landowner motivations for participating as well as their experience of these programs. What aspects of program design and resources were most helpful? What were the challenges to participation? What were the outcomes?

Previous Studies

A 2008 study conducted by UVM graduate students found that 20 states had programs that helped to connect landowners to forest carbon markets, and many other states were considering such efforts. The approaches to engaging forest landowners in carbon forestry have varied from state to state and continue to evolve.

The case studies below describe the pioneering roles played by state agencies in assisting forest owners to access newly emerging carbon markets.

Oregon's Forest Resource Trust: Forest Establishment Program

The creation, challenges, and lessons learned of the Oregon Forest Resource Trust Forest Establishment Program, one of the earliest programs in the US to fund tree-planting on family forest land using carbon offsets.

Study Summary. 2009. (1.5 Mb PDF file)

Carbon Trading: A Joint Effort Between the Delta Institute, Illinois, and Micigan

An innovative example of a joint effort between state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private businesses to connect private landowners to carbon markets.

Study Summary. 2013. (1.4 Mb PDF file)

Are you a Michigan landowner who received one of our surveys in the mail?

In June and July 2014, we are conducting a survey with forest landowners in Michigan in cooperation with the MI Dept. of Natural Resources. We mailed surveys to all participants in the Forest Stewardship Program who benefited from the cost share provided by a special fund for forest carbon management. Your responses will be kept confidential and reported anonymously. A brief summary of survey findings will be available here in September. Click here for more information.

It is not too late to turn in your survey!

We are still accepting surveys from MI landowners who have recently had a Stewardship Plan completed that includes language about carbon sequestration potential of forests. If you misplaced your survey and want to download one. Click here for a pdf of the survey
If you want to be entered into the survey drawing and don't use the numbered envelope originally sent to you, you will have to include your name and contact information. Either way, we will keep your responses confidential.

Last modified July 07 2014 11:09 AM

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