SW Community Forestry Caucus

The Integration of Diverse Support Resources


After about 15 years of work, we have learned that it requires an integrated and comprehensive support system to establish the new perspectives and practices of community forestry. The scale and breath of the changes needed to evolve a community stewardship approach to forest restoration requires changes and transformation in many, many areas. Not only are changes necessary in the scale and processes of the wood products industry, but also the fundamental approach to work in the woods is being transformed towards forest health and restoration. If the goals and methods, and even the rationale for forest management and wood production, are modified to balance commodities with stewardship, it is little wonder that many forms of "support" are needed, and will be needed, to make it sustainable.

If the goals and methods of vegetation management are changed on public lands, then public policies and mandates need modification. If there is to be a new orientation towards local stewardship, then community partnerships need to be formed and strengthened. If the economics and ecology of forest stewardship are to be transformed, then businesses, economic developers, land managers, scientists, community leaders and citizens will have to join forces to build and share new and traditional forms of ecological, community, and economic knowledge. The ideal of building healthy communities, economies, and forests means there is work for everyone-for people with ideas, who want to work differently, create new visions, methods, authorities, and coalitions.



Lessons Learned

A key ingredient to partnership formation is an ability to gather and integrate a wide range of resources that can be become much more effective when connected and interwoven.

In community forestry, active partnerships are needed to establish a sense of collaboration, social movement, and mutual accomplishment. Individual businesses, communities, and forests can rarely be successful acting alone.

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