Uncertainty about the future transfer of family forest or rangeland enterprises is becoming more commonplace. Increasingly, family natural resource enterprises are struggling with plans for succession to the next generation – whether the next generation is within the family or simply the next owner.
The aging of current forest and rangeland owners, combined with changing opportunities and expectations of the next generation of landowners, has created an urgency for many families to seek creative strategies for succession of land ownership. For business operations, there may be a younger person involved in day-to-day operations, but family members that would typically inherit and take over the business are increasingly pursuing other career options. For recreational ownership, family members are geographically dispersed such that ownership isn’t desired. This lack of interest in forest and rangeland inheritance may lead to parcellation of land holdings and to a fracturing of rural and suburban communities. At the same time, land may go to new owners with less knowledge and experience in managing the land and little connection to the communities those lands historically served. This lack of familiarity with land management can have ecological and economic consequences that affect the land, community, and local government.
Even when there is interest in the family land from the next generation, there is a need for a well-thought-out succession plan that includes management and ownership issues. This process may take place over many years and require the cooperation of people representing various stakeholder groups or family members that have not cooperated at this level before.
Woodland Legacy Planning: Love Your Land? Make A Plan
This webinar will highlight:
Shorna Allred, is an Associate Professor at Cornell University in the Center for Conservation Social Sciences, Dept. of Natural Resources. Her teaching focus at Cornell is on community-based research methods in natural resources, global service-learning, environmental justice, and community organizing for the public good. Dr. Allred's research and outreach program at Cornell focus on understanding human attitudes, motivations, and behavior related to natural resource conservation and management. Her main interests center on how social science can facilitate community-based approaches to planning and management while enhancing the resilience and sustainability of communities both locally and abroad. Dr. Allred, a native Texan and first-generation college student, earned her Ph.D. from Oregon State University and her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Penn State University.
Allyson Muth, began at Penn State in 2004 as a Forest Stewardship Program Associate working with the Pennsylvania Forest Stewards Volunteer Program and conducting outreach to forest landowners across the state (and beyond). She has worked in the forest industry and for private consulting firms and has a strong interest in peer learning and in creating dialogue to advance understanding of forest stewardship issues and opportunities. In 2011, Allyson helped start the Center for Private Forests at Penn State, became the interim director in January 2018, and was appointed director in October 2020. The Center operates at the intersection of people and forests - working out of a deep understanding of the people who own and care for the woods, and using applied research to meet the needs and advance the understanding of landowners, partners, and other stakeholders.
Jeff Tranel is an agricultural and business management economist with Colorado State University Extension and the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. He serves as co-coordinator of the award winning Agricultural and Business Management Team. Jeff's professional interests include risks faced by farm and ranch families, accounting and record keeping, income taxes, and human resource management. He participates in many state, regional, and national projects including RightRisk, Risk and Resilience in Agriculture, Rural Family Ventures, and Ag Help Wanted. Jeff has consulted with the Byelorussian Agricultural Academy in its efforts to develop farm management curriculum for residential instruction and outreach. He has been recognized with numerous individual and team awards during his career. Jeff was raised on a commercial and purebred cattle ranch in south central Wyoming and northwestern Colorado. He earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Wyoming.