Date of Award

5-1-1986

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Professor William Boone

Abstract

This study emanates from the view that educational and technical assistance programs are key variables in woodlot owners’, especially farmers’, propensity to engage in systematic forest management practices. The dissertation findings indicate that, based upon the medium and quality of communication, the distribution of educational and technical assistance by forestry—elated agencies have systematically benefitted large-scale landowners over small-scale and minority landowners. Thus, a structure of inequality exists in forestry-related services which tends to perpetuate a system of discrimination based upon the size of landownership and the race of the landowner. “Economies of scale” debates play a great role in determining which class of forestland owners will be targeted for educational and technical assistance. The policy issue is whether small-scale woodlots are inefficient and large-scale woodlots are efficient based upon arguments of “economies of scale.” The policy consequence of these issues will largely determine who will control U.S. nonindustrial private forestry as well as much of U.S. agricultural production. Data were based upon sixty—five face—to—face interviews with woodlot owners who are farmers and fifteen face—to—face interviews with nonfarmers (professionals in agricultural and forestry—related fields). These data, collected during the summer of 1985 in seven selected counties, represent districts where most of Southern Pine forestry production is practiced in the state of North Carolina. Research findings suggest that small-scale woodlot owners/farmers are especially in need of more comprehensive information on systematic forest management and that they believe artificial regeneration provides advantages over natural regeneration regardless of the scale of the farm. Minority farmers largely believed that, although less intensively than in the past, they are continually discriminated against in the provisions of both educational and financial resources to better manage their woodlots, All farmers, regardless of scale of woodlots and racial makeup, prefer a more innovative and comprehensive educational and technical assistance delivery program. They believed that agriculture extension and state forestry are the two primary agencies that should provide more innovative programs but are unlikely to provide such programs in the near future.

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