Landowners' Knowledge, Attitude, and Aspirations towards Woody Biomass Markets in North Carolina

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Title: Landowners' Knowledge, Attitude, and Aspirations towards Woody Biomass Markets in North Carolina
Author: Shaw, Jasmine Diane
Advisors: Dr. K.S.U. Jayaratne, Committee Member
Dr. Robert Bardon, Committee Co-Chair
Dr. Dennis Hazel, Committee Co-Chair
Dr. Sarah Warren, Committee Member
Abstract: The goal of this research study was to contribute to a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities of developing a woody biomass industry that includes non-industrial private forest (NIPF) landowners. Surveys were administered to 475 forest landowners before and after a forestry extension education program on emerging woody biomass markets in ten counties across North Carolina. We predicted that landowners would have low knowledge levels of woody biomass but, as a result of participating in the training, would increase knowledge, have more positive attitudes, and develop aspirations to harvest woody biomass on their land. Results, based on 395 returned surveys, confirmed these hypotheses, thus strengthening the perception of the importance of woody biomass educational programs as a component of renewable energy adoption plans. However, while the majority of landowners reported that the information gained was beneficial, we found that landowners would like more specific information before committing to participate in emerging woody biomass markets. Outreach to minority and traditionally underserved landowners also requires considerable development. If Extension professionals do not make a conscious effort to reach out to these populations they will be effectively excluded from this woody biomass market opportunity. These findings will assist Extension agents and other adult educators, policy makers, and energy or timber industry professionals to make informed decisions when developing policies and programs concentrated on woody biomass harvesting for energy.
Date: 2009-12-03
Degree: MS
Discipline: Forestry

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