Assessing Family Forestland Certification Opportunities: A Minnesota Case Study
Minnesota family forest owners were surveyed to assess their perspectives on forest certification. The study found that in spite of the increased visibility of forest certification, its awareness among family forest owners continues to be low. Moreover, after developing an understanding of forest certification, only 4% of family forest owners were certain they wanted to certify their forests, and 19% were sure they would never want to do so. Landowners familiar with certification were no more likely to certify than those who had not heard of the concept. The design and outcomes of a certification program were found to have a substantial influence on landowner interest in forest certification. The lack of owner awareness and interest in forest certification, forest management plan requirement, and limited group certification opportunities suggest substantial expansion of certified family forestland is unlikely in the foreseeable future.