USING TAX RECORDS TO TRACK FOREST OWNERSHIP CHANGES: LAKE COUNTY, MINNESOTA 1996-2006
Over time, due to economic and social trends, patterns of forestland ownership change.
Because forestland owners have differing goals and levels of forestry expertise, shifts in
ownership can affect ecosystems and timber supply. In order to anticipate the effects of
ownership change, it is important to track forestland ownership change as it occurs.
Completed in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Extension, this master’s
project examines changes in forestland ownership in Lake County, Minnesota between
1996 and 2006 by piloting an approach to categorization and analysis of county
forestland tax records. Each owner was categorized into an ownership category, such as
Corporate and Non-Industrial Private Forest Owner (NIPF). Changes in the acreages for
the ownership types were mapped on a section-by-section basis in a geographic
information system (GIS). By exploring the resulting maps in concert with the
underlying dataset, patterns of forestland ownership, as well as individual land transfers,
can be identified.
The results of this project reveal the benefits and drawbacks of approaching land
ownership change through tax records, while also providing insight into the dynamics of
land ownership in Lake County. Forest industry ownership declined dramatically during
the 1996-2006 period, and split into the NIPF, Nonprofit, and “Unknown” ownership
types. Because of the low spatial resolution possible with this method, it is best used in
concert with other investigatory methods.
Advisor:Christensen, Norman L. Jr.; Halpin, Patrick N.
School Location:USA - North Carolina
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:lake county minnesota ownership corporate and non industrial private forest owner nipf geographic information system gis tax records
Date of Publication:05/01/2007