Mississippi is the leading producer of timber in the south- central region of the United States with a combined 78 billion board feet of hardwood and softwood sawtimber harvested annually. Most of this timber comes from private nonindus-trial forest land, which accounts for 66 percent of the State’s 18.6 million acres of forest land. The forest products industry contributes $11.4 billion annually to the State economy. Between 1978 and 1996, the number of forest landowners in Mississippi has increased from 185,000 to just over 368,000. As the number of landowners has increased, the average size of forest properties has dropped from approximately 76 to 50 acres. This reduced forest property size increases the costs associated with forest management. For landholdings smaller than 10 acres in size, there is an even larger disparity in management costs. Although these smaller parcels can be harvested, site preparation and planting costs may be an obstacle to forest management. The education level and motivation of this large and diverse ownership group also plays a role in forest management. Recommendations for addressing these issues lie primarily in landowner education and economic incentive programs. Landowner knowledge of forest valuation, management, and sources of assistance will be critical to improving and maintaining productivity of these forests.