This research exsplores the intersection between the various federal and state forestry incentive programs and the adoption of sustainable forestry practices on nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) lands in the US. The qualitative research reported here draws upon a series of eight focus groups of NIPF landowners (two each in Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina). Despite minor regional variations, the dominant theme that emerged is that these landowners' purchase and management decisions are motivated by the "trilogy" of forest continuity, benefit to the owner, and doing the "right thing." This trilogy is quite consistent with notions of sustainable forestry, but somewhat more at odds with the objectives of many financial incentive programs, as well as specific tactics such as third-party certification. A series of policy recommendations that emerge from this research is presented.
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