Mississippi landowners were found to diversify incomes from forests through fee-access outdoor recreation, including hunting, angling, wildlife watching, and other nature-based activities (Jones et al. 2005). The Natural Resource Enterprises (NRE) Program at Mississippi State University educates private landowners, resource agencies, and local communities about recreational enterprises, conservation, and integration of these activities with sustainable forestry through educational workshops. Since 2005, the NRE Program has organized and conducted over 75 landowner workshops in 11 U.S. states and Sweden and trained in excess of 4,000 participants in outdoor recreational business development and associated conservation practices. Survey results revealed that our programming has initiated over 1,000 new outdoor recreational businesses on an estimated 1.2 million hectares of forest and agricultural lands, generating over $14 million in incomes while fostering natural resource conservation on family farms in the U.S. NRE development on rural lands benefits landowners and local communities through promoting payments for ecosystem services supported by sustainable forests.
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