influence the application of specific forestry practices, such as reforestation after harvest, the creation of buffer zones along sensitive waterways, and the practice of soil-sensitive timber harvesting techniques. Program selection is influenced by contextual factors, including the geographical variability of a state's forest resources; economic importance of the forest-based sector within a state; historical traditions of governmental intervention in the private sector; and limits on available financial and human resources. Program choices also are swayed by the capacity of potential programs to achieve social and political objectives for the use and management of private forest resources.
State governments assume a variety of roles when addressing the use and management of private forestland. States can implement information or service-oriented programs that involve the transfer of technical assistance and information to landowners. States also can influence private forestry practices by offering financial incentives, which can take the form of direct cost-sharing of forestry practices or the granting of tax credits or property tax assessments. If service-oriented programs and fiscal incentives fail to result in private forestry practices that complement societal interests in private forests, state governments can implement regulatory measures. These measures force uniform application of socially acceptable forest practices on all private lands within a state.
Programs used by state forestry agencies to directly influence the use and management of private forests can be grouped into the following major categories: educational, technical assistance, voluntary guideline, tax incentive, fiscal incentive, and regulatory (Appendix B). Of the many programs implemented by the lead state forestry agencies in 1992, most fell into the technical assistance category (28 percent of the program applications listed in Table A-25), followed closely by programs that were primarily educational (27 percent) (Table A-27). These programs rank similarly high in the number of states that have such programs. Depending on the forestry objectives to be met, technical-assistance programs exist in 88 to 96 percent and educational programs in 84 to 94 percent of all states (Ellefson et al. 1995).
Among the major objectives that lead state forestry agencies promote are protection of water quality (vegetative buffer strips, skid trail design, road construction and maintenance); promotion of reforestation (silvicultural regeneration systems, and artificial regeneration practices); improvement of timber harvesting procedures (harvest engineering systems, location of landings, and size of harvest area); protection from wildfire, insects, and diseases (forest health) (treatment of slash, appropriate application of pesticides, and silvicultural prescriptions for