Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Biological Sciences

Content Description

1 online resource (xi, 108 pages) : illustrations

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Gary Kleppel

Committee Members

John Davis, Daniel Sundquist


Forest management, Forest conservation, Logging

Subject Categories

Forest Sciences | Natural Resources Management and Policy


New England states have a long history of forest management, beginning in the seventeenth century, with community forests evolving over time from communal forests during colonial times to town-owned forests managed by conservation commissions in the present time. New Hampshire towns provided a case study of the current state of town-owned forest protection and management, with a focus on timber management. I administered a survey to 50 randomly sampled towns and received data from 29 about permanent protection and management activities on town-owned forestland (≥ 50 acres). I used this data, demographic, and landscape data, to evaluate permanent protection and timber management at the town and property levels. I conducted discriminant function analyses and tests of independence that evaluated potential attributes that characterized towns and properties that actively protected and managed forestland. I then analyzed community participation in timber revenue allocation decision-making. I additionally evaluated the impact of municipal forestlands on biodiversity conservation. I found that while many towns have permanently protected some of their forestlands (66%), many have not realized the potential economic benefits of sustainable timber management (50%). I found that few towns had active community participation in timber revenue allocation and management decisions (28%). Town-owned forestland (≥ 50 acres) encompassed more than 58,000 acres of classified wildlife habitat statewide, creating opportunities for permanent protection and sustainable timber management. Overall, many towns are transitioning from a focus on land protection to land management. This creates an opportunity for community involvement in the forest management planning process, incorporating the multiple values that stakeholders attach to forests.