Segmentation to focus outreach: Behavioral intentions of private forest landowners in Pennsylvania

Alexander L. Metcalf, Joshua B. Gruver, James C. Finley, A. E. Luloff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Efforts to segment private forest landowners (PFLs) have generally relied on ownership objectives to define cluster membership. Social-psychology theory suggests that attitudes, such as ownership objectives, are but one cognitive antecedent to PFL behaviors and that behavioral intentions (BIs) are better predictors of behavior. This article explores a novel clustering approach using BIs to define segments of Pennsylvania PFLs. Segments defined from PFL BIs may help improve outreach efficiency, engaging PFLs who intend to pursue potentially unsustainable behaviors (e.g., harvesting or parcelization). The results of a multivariate cluster analysis indicated five distinct PFL segments: two defined by potentially unsustainable BIs (i.e., “high utilization” and “family subdivision”), two defined by relatively low-impact BIs (i.e., “for sale” and “intact legacy”), and one defined by a disconnect with their land (i.e., “hands-off”). Differences among the segments with respect to other important variables were assessed to help inform cluster-appropriate outreach strategies and messaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-473
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Forestry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2016


  • Cluster analysis
  • Estate planning
  • Extension
  • Harvesting
  • NIPF
  • Parcelization
  • Stewardship
  • Typology


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