Hansel and Gretal Walk in the Forest, Landowners Walk in the Woods: A Qualitative Examination of the Language Used by Family Forest Owners

February 2007


By Kyle Andrejczyk, Brett J. Butler, Mary L. Tyrrell, and Judith Langer

In 2007, a series of focus groups with family forest owners was conducted as part of a social marketing initiative with the aim of increasing conservation activities on private forestlands. Participants in the study were asked how they perceive and experience their land and how they understand certain terminology used by forestry professionals. Results show that family forest owners possess a stewardship ethic and perceive their land as a means of self-actualization. The results also provide information for forestry groups seeking to craft effective, resonant messaging in their landowner outreach efforts. By adapting to the language and meanings used by family forest owners, forestry professionals can more effectively convince family forest owners of the need to adopt scientifically sound land management practices


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