• Agricultural Factors
    • Delays and closings of the federal Conservation Reserve Program.
    • Fewer agricultural lands and unwillingness to sacrifice acreage especially when commodity crop values spike.
    • Reluctance from landowners to commit to putting forest buffers in place if land will be transferred to the next generation.
  • Program Management
    • Need for increased federal, state and local outreach to landowners and greater emphasis on forest buffers as a preferred best management practice.
    • More incentives, technical assistance and education to encourage landowners to enroll in conservation programs, permanently protect their land and/or put forest buffers in place.
    • Greater flexibility and funding through federal programs.
    • Better coordination among agencies and staff at all levels of government.
    • Simplified and streamlined cost-share program application and implementation process, clearer communication needs.
    • Greater understanding of why only 53 percent of forest buffer acres are re-enrolling on the expiration of their first 15-year contract.
    • Use new programs and tools to improve the location of forest buffer plantings (which should take place where we would see the most benefits), the maintenance of forest buffer plantings (which can be impacted by competing vegetation and deer or vole browsing) and the permanent protection of forest buffer plantings (which are often lost when agricultural lands are developed).