USDA Forest Service

Forest Inventory and Analysis National Program


Forest Inventory & Analysis
National Office
U.S. Forest Service
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-0003

(703) 605-4177

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

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U.S. Forest Service, National Woodland Owner Survey

Map showing distribution of six forest ownership types in the conterminous United States

There are over 800 million acres of forestland in the U.S. and most of this land is privately owned. Approximately 36% of the forestland is owned by families and individuals, 31% by the federal government, 19% by corporations, 9% by state governments, 2% by tribal groups, 2% by other private groups, and 2% by local governments.

The National Woodland Owner Survey (NWOS) is aimed at increasing our understanding of private forest owners, including:

  • How many private forest owners there are?
  • Why they own land?
  • What they have done with their forests in the past?
  • What they plan to do with their forests in the future?

Summary information from the NWOS is used by people who provide, design, and implement services and policies that impact private forest owners, including government agencies, landowner organizations and other non-governmental organizations, private service providers, business analysts, forest industry companies, and academic researchers.

Picture of National Woodland Owner Survey booklet. The NWOS currently has three modules:

Click on the links above to learn more about each module.

The main features of this website are:

The National Woodland Owner Survey is implemented by the Family Forest Research Center, a joint venture between the U.S. Forest Service and University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The National Woodland Owner Survey Table Maker is an on-line tool you can use to generate custom data summary tables.

The National Woodland Owner Survey (NWOS) Dashboard (NWOS-DASH) is an interacitve, on-line tool that visitors can use to explore the NWOS data by attribute and make comparisons among States and Regions by selected attribute of interest.

USDA Forest Service
Last Modified: October 15, 2020

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