Ecosystem Services in Working Lands: US Northeast

3.2.2 Working lands and producers/managers Using concepts and definitions from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and scholars in landscape ecology, Table 5 itemizes the definitions of working landscapes and its producers/managers used in this assessment.

Table 5. Definitions of working landscapes and producers/managers used in this report

Working Lands & Premises

Producer, Manager

Agricultural Land Agricultural land is used primarily for the production of farm commodities. The categories of "agricultural land" are cropland and pasture; orchards, groves, vineyards, bush fruits, and horticultural areas (such as nurseries); feeding operations; and others (USDA NAL 2021).)

Crop and livestock farm owner/operator A farmer, otherwise known as the “farm operator” (USDA 2020), is the person who runs a farm and makes day-to-day management decisions. Given the complex ownership and land access arrangements in U.S. farming, federal program incentive benefits are available to an owner-operator, a landlord, a tenant, or a sharecropper who shares in the risk of producing a crop and is entitled to a share of the crop produced on the farm (P.L. 101 – 171, Sec. 1001).

Farmstead Land used primarily for dwellings, barns, pens, corrals, gardens, and other uses in connection with operating farms or ranches (USDA NAL 2021)

Woodland and forestland “Woodlands” are land used primarily for the production of adapted wood crops and to provide tree cover for watershed protection, beautification, etc; this does not include farmstead and field windbreak plantings (USDA NAL 2021). “Forestland” is any land at least 10% occupied by forest trees of any size or formerly having had such tree cover and not currently developed for non-forest use (USDA NAL 2021). Fishery A “fishery” is any premise on which breeding, hatching, or fish-rearing facilities are situated when the premise is required to have a license by the state fish and game code, including ponds for commercial use (USDA NAL 2021). Supporting regional landscape These landscapes are areas of land that encapsulate working lands, with ecological structures, processes, and dynamics that affect and are affected by (interact with) working lands (Forman 2014)

Woodland and forestry owner/operator The corporate, family, or other private owner and tribal owners of forest or woodlands are known as “private forest and woodland owners” (Butler et al. 2016).

Fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants farm owner/operator The production of aquatic organisms under controlled conditions throughout part or all their life cycle is known as “aquaculture” (USDA 2021).

Other land owner, manager, or operator This is the person or entity that retains ownership or legal operation of the land and enacts its access and use rights (to be on the land and use its resources).


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