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Michael Burns, American Forest Foundation, mburns@forestfoundation.org
Paul Trianosky, American Forest Foundation, ptrianosky@forestfoundation.org (Presenter)

 

The American Forest Foundation (AFF) is a non-profit organization with the mission of ensuring the sustainability of America’s family forests for present and future generations in conjunction with our strategic partners. Program areas of AFF include elements of environmental education, advocacy, on-ground conservation, and the American Tree Farm System, which is the largest and oldest system of sustainably managed forests in America. AFF is midway through a three-year effort to revise and sharpen programs intended to expand the engagement of family-forest landowners in sustainable forest management. Program areas include outreach through the American Tree Farm System, targeted efforts in pilot landscapes, and general outreach to a variety of unengaged landowners. Key methods include stratification of intended audiences, targeted marketing to specific demographics, and increasing the value proposition to prospective participants. This presentation will provide some insights into the genesis of the Landowner Engagement Strategy, including the challenges associated with growing the American Tree Farm System, and forest certification on family lands. We will review efforts to work with partners in specific landscapes, as well as targeted efforts to engage key demographic groups, and the development of online resources. A common thread will be the clarification of values landowners derive from engaging in sustainable forestry, and specifically from engaging in programs of AFF.