Recent Efforts by States to Incentivize Working Forests
Many states are using property tax reductions and the purchase of conservation easements to encourage landowners to maintain forestland and ease development pressures. This summary excludes those programs. A few states have implemented, or are considering, additional incentives for working forests. At least two states (Maine and Virginia) are conducting studies to explore alternative approaches. Meanwhile, in 2001, Minnesota began a program that provides direct payments to landowners who agree to keep their forestland undeveloped for at least eight years, while Oregon recently approved the creation of “community forest authorities” that can levy bonds to finance the purchase of community forestlands. A short summary of these developments by state follows. This is the result of an exhaustive survey of the states in the Fall of 2005.