Canadian Forest Service Publications

Adoption influences in Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program. 2018. MacDonald, H.; McKenney, D.W.; Pedlar, J.H.; Hope, E.S.; McLaven, K.; Perry, S. The Forestry Chronicle 94(3): 221-229.

Year: 2018

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39489

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

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Plain Language Summary

The Government of Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program (50MTP) has been underway since 2007, with a mandate to encourage afforestation in the province. Under this program, Forests Ontario provides financial support to offset the costs of planting trees on properties at least 1 ha in size; in return, landowners agree to maintain their newly planted trees for a minimum of 15 years. The current study examines adoption influences in the 50MTP, particularly the role of agricultural land rent values (which help to provide an indication of opportunity cost/trade-offs between agriculture versus forests), the per-tree support level offered by the 50MTP, and personal motivations such as the desire to enhance wildlife habitat. Our results indicate that land-owners in counties with lower agricultural land rent values (and therefore lower “opportunity costs”) were most likely to participate in the 50MTP. Further, counties with low agricultural rent values were more likely to show increased trends in forest cover. The effect of the per-tree support offered by the 50MTP (on average between $1.25-1.35) on participation in the 50MTP (and on afforestation in general) was explored, but the limited variation in support levels made it challenging to draw definitive conclusions. Finally, a follow-up survey of 50MTP participants indicated that wildlife and enhancing native forest cover were the most common motivations for participating in the program.