KBS120:Landowner Mail Survey on ‘Bioenergy and Land Use,’ Northern Michigan & Northern Wisconsin

The survey targeted unincorporated, private landowners. The goal of this mail survey was to explore landowners’ attitudes, perceptions, and willingness to grow energy crops and/or harvest timber residues in the northern half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and in northern Wisconsin. A major objective was to predict the potential supply of land devoted to three potential bioenergy crops on three land types (cropland, farmable non-crop land [including pasture & grassland], forest land). The survey also included the potential for woody biomass sale as residue from timber harvest and tree thinning operations. The contingent valuation completely randomized experimental design covers four energy crops (corn, switchgrass, hybrid poplar trees, woody biomass residues) with four pre-defined rental rate offers ($15, $30, $60, $90 per acre; same rates used for woody biomass sale) for a total of 16 versions of the questionnaire (experimental design with prices offered appears on Survey Versions & Prices worksheet in the codebook file). The 4-wave direct mail survey asked landowners about their land uses, attitudes about their land, awareness of bioenergy crops, opinions about bioenergy and environment, concerns about land rental, and demographic background. The contingent valuation section asked for respondent willingness to rent each of the three land types for each of the three bioenergy crops, with specified rental rates following an orthogonal design. For woody biomass timber residues, respondents were asked about willingness to sell the biomass at the same one-time price as the poplar land rental rate.

The list frame sampled the population of rural land owners with plots of at least 10 acres (4 hectares). The two-stage stratified, clustered random sampling design began with selection and stratification of 18 counties by proportion of land in cropland and grassland (greater than and less 20% land cover, with 3 WI counties and 6 MI counties in each category). Next, within each county landholdings were obtained from property tax records, and landowners were stratified by a) area owned in the county (10-100 acres and over 100 acres) and b) forest orientation (proxied by participation in a forest management program: Wisconsin Managed Forest Law, Michigan Commercial Forest, or MI Qualified Forest Program). We drew 24 addresses at random from each stratum in (the smaller) Michigan counties and 48 from each stratum in (the larger) Wisconsin counties. Sampling probabilities appear on the Survey Weights worksheet in the codebook file. This resulted in a balanced final sample frame with 1152 landowners per state. Upon mailing out the study questionnaire to the selected landowner mailing addresses, 134 were returned as undeliverable or otherwise invalid. The final sampled population therefore consisted of 2170 valid addresses, from which 1124 completed questionnaires were returned before the survey closed. The survey began in October 2014 and was closed in May 2015 (but 1228 of the final 1258 returned questionnaires were received by Feb. 5, 2015).

  • Status: completed
  • Temporal Coverage 2014-10-01 to 2015-05-15


KBS0120-002 Landowner Mail Survey on ‘Bioenergy and Land Use,’ Northern Michigan & Northern Wisconsin 2014 Responses (codebook)
The codebook for the northern tier 2014 survey
KBS120-001 Landowner Mail Survey on ‘Bioenergy and Land Use,’ Northern Michigan & Northern Wisconsin 2014 Responses (raw data)
This is the raw survey data from the 2014 survey



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