The University of Arizona

Ownership and management changes on California hardwood rangelands: 1985 to 1992.

L. Huntsinger, L. Buttolph, P. Hopkinson


Results of a 1985 survey of California hardwood rangeland landowners were used to develop a multi-agency research and extension program known as the Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program. In 1992, the same properties were re-surveyed. Although the results cannot prove the program is the sole or direct agent of change, program-sponsored education and research aimed at encouraging oak rangeland owners to change oak management practices is reflected in changes in key landowner behaviors. Program-sponsored research showed that intermediate levels of oak canopy cover did not significantly reduce forage production. Concurrently, landowners have significantly reduced the clearing of oaks for forage production. Other significant changes are reduction of cutting of living oaks for any reason, reduced cutting of oaks for fuelwood, increased use of oak promoting practices, and a growing awareness of the need to be concerned about the status of oaks. Landowners who were aware of the resource benefits of having oaks, or who believed oaks were threatened, or who had been in contact with a natural resource advisory service were significantly more likely to carry out oak-promoting practices. Between 1985 and 1992, many properties changed hands: 24% of parcels were sold but remained intact, while an additional 11% were subdivided. As was found in 1985, owners of smaller properties manage for different and more diverse goals than those of larger properties. The changing pattern of hardwood rangeland land ownership will have an impact on education and conservation programs.


surveys;land ownership;conservation;land management;landowners;land use;Quercus;California;woodlands

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