WON at the IUFRO Small-Scale Forestry conference

Good news!  I learned yesterday that the abstract submitted on behalf of our project has been accepted as an oral presentation at the 2009 IUFRO 3.08 Small-Scale Forestry conference in Morgantown, WV.  The full conference title is Forest Beyond the Trees: New possibilities and expectations for products and services from small-scale forestry.  Our abstract is below.

Woodland owner networks and peer-to-peer learning

Authors: Eli S. Sagor, Maureen H. McDonough, and Shorna B. Allred

Abstract: Small private forest owners consistently list peers as preferred sources of forest management advice. Since January 2008, the Woodland Owner Networks project has been investigating program models designed to foster peer-to-peer interaction and learning to support private forest management decisions.  In April 2009, the project will bring together 45 researchers, agency administrators, funders, and leaders and members of woodland owner organizations large and small, representing a wide diversity of program objectives and models.  The symposium is designed to bring together formal academic research with other perspectives and ways of knowing about peer-to-peer learning about natural resources.  The symposium will have three primary outputs:

  1. a list of practical tools and best practices based on both research and informal first hand learning by program organizers;
  2. a statement of the current state of knowledge, knowledge gaps, and skill development needs; and
  3. a statement of emerging opportunities and barriers to peer-to-peer learning in the future.

This presentation will review the rationale (and risks) behind peer-to-peer learning to support sound small-scale forest management and report on the outcomes of the April 2009 symposium.  It will also include a review of recent research results from ongoing qualitative and quantitative analyses of the outcomes and impacts of peer-to-peer learning in a small-scale private forestry context.