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Parcelization and land use: A case study in the New York City Watershed

Caron, Jennifer A.; Germain, Rene H.; Anderson, Nathaniel M. 2012. Parcelization and land use: A case study in the New York City Watershed. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry. 29(2): 74-80.


Over 75% of the New York City Watershed is forested, and the majority of the land is owned by family forest owners. Ownership fragmentation and development may impact both the working forested landscape and water quality. We surveyed the owners of intact and subdivided family forest parcels across various parcel sizes to gauge their awareness of forest management practices and to assess the potential property-level impacts of their activities on water quality. To support the landowner survey, we used field data on forest stocking and timber quality gathered at each property. Results indicate that owners of large parcels (>50 ac) had significantly higher water quality awareness scores than did owners of small parcels and were more likely to have a written forest management plan. Full-time resident owners were more likely to engage in practices that may negatively impact water quality more directly, such as adding structures and a driveway, which increases impervious surface area and associated runoff, and using additives on their lawns, which can add nutrients and chemicals to surface water.

Keywords: watershed management, ownership fragmentation, family forests, forest management

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Parcelization and land use: A case study in the New York City Watershed
Electronic Publish Date: September 27, 2012
Last Update:
September 27, 2012

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