Amanda and I are just back from a great trip to interview woodland owners in Oregon. We ventured out there to learn more about Oregon State’s Master Woodland Manager program. (All of a sudden I can’t believe that we didn’t take any photos.)
We spent four days in west-central Oregon talking to program participants. We wanted to know more about how they got involved in the program, what they’d learned from other woodland owners, and how they’d been able to help other woodland owners since their training.
It’ll take us a while to transcribe and analyze what we heard, but interviewees were consistently upbeat and positive about the program. They told us compelling stories about their experiences and the sense of pride that they feel when they’re able not only to improve their woods, but also help others improve theirs.
We also heard some concerns: Some MWMs felt unsure how to handle some awkward outreach situations. We also heard concerns about the quality of information being passed through the network.
This trip is part of our case study investigation of the role of peer-to-peer woodland owner outreach in the broader network of private forest owner education, cost-share, and assistance programs. We plan to visit participants in a few different kinds of programs over the next several months.