Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) is a federal program that allows non-federal land managers to complete forest practices, including timber harvesting, on the National Forests. Due to limited staffing, the USDA Forest Service is unable to complete all the forest practices it would like to and this program allows others to assist. Though non-federal land managers are setting up practices, they follow all federal rules and guidelines. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was an early adopter in seeking to implement forestry practices on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forests.
GNA was only beginning when we surveyed logging businesses about their 2016 production year. We added two questions to engage initial awareness and perception of the program. In future surveys, we will track responses and possible add new questions about this topic. Though these two questions appeared on all the questionnaire we sent out, we only report responses from logging businesses based in northern Wisconsin, where the National Forests are located.
Given the relative newness, we first asked logging businesses whether they were aware of GNA. Across all respondents, awareness was split nearly evenly with 50% reporting they were and 50% reporting they weren’t. However, when reporting by annual production category, we find increasing awareness with annual production from 30% for the smallest to 85% for the largest (see below).
For those who indicated they were aware of GNA, we asked a follow-up question to gauge their assessment’s of the program’s likely effect on the forest industry in Wisconsin in the next five years. Across production categories, logging businesses expect the impact to be “somewhat positive” (see below). This excludes 21 respondents who were unsure of the impact. It will be curious to see what future surveys show about the impact of GNA as the program grows and evolves.
Author: Mark Rickenbach
Links to complete series on Week 1 post.