U.S. Forest Service invites comment on renewal of the National Woodland Owner Survey

Owner Survey 

The U.S. Forest Service periodically conducts the National Woodland Owner Survey (NWOS) to increase understanding of who owns and manages forestland of the United States, why they own/manage it, how they have used it, and how they intend to use it. Results from the survey are widely used by policymakers and others.

Approval for the last iteration of the NWOS expires on November 30, 2018. If renewed, the survey would operate for another 3-year cycle.

Thus, the U.S. Forest Service recently announced that it is seeking comments from all interested parties on renewal of National Woodland Owner Survey information collection. The announcement appears in the December 19, 2017 issue of the Federal Register (82 FR 60174).

In its next cycle, the NWOS will collect information on characteristics of land holdings; attitudes and perceptions of landowners and managers; resource uses and management activities; and, where applicable, landowner demographics.

The Forest Service will survey a statistically selected group of individuals, families, American Indian tribes, partnerships, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and other private groups that own forestland in the United States. In addition, a statistically selected group of federal, state, and local government agencies that manage forestland will be surveyed.

Separate survey instruments will be developed for some of these groups. The survey will also use focus groups to provide more in-depth understanding of responses and to explore new areas of inquiry.

The Forest Service is currently inviting comment on (1) whether this collection of information is necessary for the stated purposes; (2) the accuracy of the Agency’s estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (3) the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (4) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents.

Comments must be received in writing on or before February 20, 2018, and should be submitted to Brett Butler of the USDA Forest Service.

Contact information 

  • Brett Butler, USDA Forest Service
    160 Holdsworth Way
    Amherst, MA 01003
    Fax: (413) 545-1860
    Email: bbutler01@fs.fed.us