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Caroline Kuebler, American Forest Foundation, ckuebler@forestfoundation.org (Presenter)

 

Family forest owners own thirty five percent of America’s forests, providing many important public benefits from clean air and water, to wildlife habitat, to green jobs and wood and paper products. The American Forest Foundation (AFF) works to give family forest owners the tools they need to be effective stewards of America’s natural heritage. AFF’scurrent network of over 80,000 Certified Tree Farmers take their forest stewardship seriously as part of the largest and oldest sustainable woodland system. However there are over four million landowners with 10 acres or more (National Woodland Owners Survey, 2008). In order to reach such a large number of landowners, new strategies need to be developed. AFF has developed an online tool, mylandplan.org, which is targeted to these largely unengaged landowners. Using this tool, landowners can take their first steps along the continuum of good stewardship of their forests. The content is tailored specifically to them, using clear direct language and speaks to their interests based on the research done by the Sustaining Family Forests Initiative. The interactive tool helps landowners map their property, identify and develop goals, track their activities and share their progress with their family. This tool can be used to prepare landowners, so when they are ready, they have a base of information to build on when they connect with a natural resource professional.