Private landowner intent to supply woody feedstock forbioenergy production

Zachary J. Leitch, John M. Lhotka, G. Andrew Stainback, Jeffrey W. Stringer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


In this research, we evaluated the intent of engaged private forest landowners to supply woody biomass for bioenergy production. The study was conducted in a U.S. state (Kentucky) where private individuals own a majority (78%) of the state's forest resources. Intent of family forest owners was measured using a mail-based survey. We used the Theory of Planned Behavior to model factors that affect landowner intention, and we tested the effect of educational materials on participates' reported intent. Two-thirds of respondents indicated that they intend to include energy wood in future harvests, but the educational material treatment did not affect intentions. Respondents' attitudes, perceived subjective norms, and perceived control each had a significant effect on intent to harvest. No demographic or land ownership characteristics had an effect on behavioral intent. The only prior harvest activity that significantly increased intent was whether the subject had harvested pulpwood from their forest in the past. Respondents identified barriers that may prevent them from harvesting energy wood, providing forestry professionals with a list of challenges to overcome if supply is to be maximized. Lack of bioenergy markets and woodland access issues were the most frequently reported barriers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-136
Number of pages10
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
StatePublished - Sep 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thankfully acknowledge the University of Kentucky's Cooperative Extension forestry program for their financial assistance with mailing and printing costs. We would like to thank Billy Thomas for his time spent co-authoring the information packet and assistance with contacting the research subjects. We also thank Renee Williams for her help with printing and managing returned surveys. Finally, we extend our gratitude to Jonathan Catron, Scott Johnson, Adam Lindstrom, Derek Lane, and Kathleen Vidoloff for their important contributions to this project. The information reported in this paper (No. 13-09-013) is part of a project of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and is published with the approval of the Director.


  • Behavioral intent
  • Family forests
  • Forest biomass harvesting
  • Forest landowners
  • Theory of planned behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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