The University of Arizona

California's privately owned oak woodlands: owners, use, and management.

L. Huntsinger, L.P. Fortmann


Social science research is an important tool for guiding development of education programs for owners of private rangelands. California oak woodland, a productive and extensive range type in California that is undergoing rapid changes in use and management, is the focus of this study. Results indicate that landowners with different property size differ demographically, make different uses of their land, and have distinctly different attitudes toward oak management and living in the oak woodland. Owners of smaller properties, on the increase in rural California, do not earn their living from their land, and will respond best to resource education programs that they believe will contribute to bettering the quality of life they seek by residing in the oak woodland. Owners of larger properties, the traditional clientele of advisory agencies, will more likely respond to programs that protect and enhance earnings from their property. Still, even a third of the owners of the largest (over 5,000 acres) properties earn the majority of their income from sources other than their lands. To be effective, range-oriented education programs and policies must track the changing composition of rural populations, and the changes in attitudes, needs, and interests that accompany demographic shifts.


extension education;attitudes and opinions;private ownership;surveys;land management;landowners;land use;Quercus;California;woodlands;rangelands

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