Rozance & Rabotyagov 2015 small forestland development

From Salish Sea Wiki

Mary Ann Rozance, Sergey S. Rabotyagov, Washington State Small Forest Landowners: Who Intends to Develop Their Forestlands and When, Journal of Forestry, Volume 112, Issue 6, November 2014, Pages 572–580,


  • 80,000 acres a year are converted to other land covers.
  • Forestland declined by 1.4M acres between 1970 and 2008 mostly for development. Based on land cover models another 6-8% is anticipated to be converted over the next 40 years (from 2005 study).
  • State law allows Designated Forest Lands (DFL) to be taxed less, at the rate of extraction, rather than "best and highest use".
  • Small forest land owners that harvest less than 2Mbf annually account for 5.7M acres or 25% of all forestland in the state.
  • Currently 1.2M acres of SFLO land the value of timber extraction is less than assessed property value for development.
  • Results
    • Only 18% have some income from forestland. 34% have harvested within last 10 years, and 36% anticipate harvest within 10 years.
    • 68% have a written forest plan, while 56% have no succession or estate plan.
    • Average owner has 90 acres (median of 34 acres suggests skewing by a fewer larger owners; 86% have less than 100 acres). 15% have all forest enrolled as DFL while 68% have none. 45% indicate income from timber harvest was unimportant.
    • 22% of SFLO respondents indicate they anticipate future development.
    • Overall, non-monetary factors had a significant effect of development.
    • Most likely to develop are larger parcels, in W. WA, near to developed parcels, and further away from DNR lands.
    • Those who have aesthetic values for forest land are less likely to develop.
    • Enrollment in DFL, forest planning, proximity to DNR, higher income, and aesthetic values all decreased likelihood of development.
    • Proximity to development, harvest plans, lower income, and a focus on investment value increased development likelihood.