- Author: Kim Ingram
Eighty-six percent of private forest landowners indicate they are highly motivated to develop a forest management plan after attending a Forest Stewardship workshop, which puts them on the path towards improved management of forest lands, participation in cost-share funding programs, and protecting California's natural resources.
Protecting California's forests starts with a plan. There are 87,000 private forest landowners in California who collectively own nine million acres. For private forest landowners, identifying desired goals and objectives is not always easy especially when there are seemingly conflicting goals. Forest stewardship is based on conservation principles that ensure protection of forest resources including wildlife, timber, soil, water, recreational opportunities and natural beauty. Forest stewards actively manage their land by implementing management objectives based on multiple resources while conserving natural resources in an economically viable way. Depending on the steps identified to implement their vision, landowners may need further assistance from Registered Professional Foresters (RPF) or cost-share funding for project implementation.
How UC Delivers
UC ANR is uniquely positioned to utilize our expertise in outreach and education, and collaborate with local, state and federal partners to provide the resources and support private forest landowners needs. Beginning in January 2020, UC ANR's Forest Stewardship Education Initiative has hosted workshops to help landowners learn how to articulate their vision for their forest land, and identify the steps needed to achieve it. Throughout the workshop, participants gather site-specific information to better understand their forest, and focus their goals leading towards the development of a management plan. With five completed workshops, two currently ongoing workshops, and four upcoming workshops, UC ANR has engaged over 200 forest landowners across California. Clearly our work is just beginning!
After completing the workshop, 66% of participants have written out their management goals and 60% made progress on developing a management plan. Additionally, participants who complete the workshop are eligible for a free initial site visit by an RPF. This visit can be the start of a working relationship between the landowner and the RPF, leading to a completed management plan submitted for cost-share funding. To date, 39% of workshop participants have made contact with an RPF and 15% have begun a cost-share funding process. Seventy-eight percent have begun implementing some management activities from their plans, demonstrating improved management and use of land that contributes to the public value of protecting California's natural resources.
“I feel much clearer on the steps to make a forest management plan, what I can do myself, and what we need to hire a professional for.” - Redding workshop participant
“(The workshop)…provided a roadmap for helping private landowners think holistically about managing their forests.” - Blodgett workshop participant
“I felt the workshop was a great way to introduce forest land-owners to professionals, as well as start the dialogue necessary to accomplish their management goals. It also seems like a great way to educate non-forestry professionals on management techniques.”– Jacob Harrower, Forest Operations Manager, Jacobszoon & Associates, RPF #3070.