This October the SFFI Team traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah for the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) World Congress, held jointly with the Society of American Foresters 2014 Fall Conference. IUFRO is a non-profit, non-governmental international network of forest scientists, which promotes global cooperation in forest-related research and enhances the understanding of the ecological, economic and social aspects of forests and trees. The weeklong event brought together over 3,500 forestry scientists and experts, making it the largest global scientific conference on forests.
This year’s IUFRO theme, “Sustaining Forests, Sustaining People: The Role of Research” fits perfectly with SFFI’s mission of combining data from the National Woodland Owner Survey and principles of targeted marketing to help sustain family forests. Several panels within the Convention presented research on managing private forestland, utilizing and sustaining partnerships, and communicating science to landowners—all key tenants of SFFI’s work.
SFFI Project Director Mary Tyrrell and Co-Director Brett Butler both presented at a panel on Friday, October 10th titled “Communicating Science”. The focus of the panel, which also included work from the American Forest Foundation’s Impact Center, was promoting active forest management by engaging private forest landowners.
· Brett Butler first presented on segmentation, a common technique for grouping family forest owners in order to develop more effective and efficient programs and communications. He explained the strengths and weaknesses of this approach using data from the National Woodland Owner Survey.
· His second presentation, Evaluation of Landowner Engagement Activities: An Evidence Based Practices Approach, described a new approach to the coupling of empirical evidence with professional expertise with the goals of a project to make more informed decisions.
· Mary Tyrrell’s talk, Tools for Engaging Landowners Effectively: Advances in Social Marketing for Reaching Family Forests Owners, provided an overview of TELE’s targeted marketing process and its application potential.
To learn more about the National Woodland Owner Survey or TELE, visit the Tools for Engaging Landowners Effectively (TELE) website.