Extension helps Oregon’s woodland owners manage their land
Master Woodland Managers share their knowledge with other landholders
About 70,000 small woodland owners hold title to nearly 5 million acres, or 40 percent, of the state’s private forestland. Each year, they harvest about 425 million board feet of timber, or about 11 percent of the state’s annual wood production. But not all of them have a background in forestry or know what to do with their land.
To help, the OSU Extension Service created the Master Woodland Manager program, which educates these owners on topics such as management planning, ecology and forest inventory methods. In return for 80 hours of instruction from professional foresters and forestry instructors, the trainees agree to volunteer a similar number of hours to help other small woodland owners. On average, most Master Woodland Managers have volunteered for almost 10 years. Some have served for more than 20 years.
Since its inception in 1983, nearly 500 landowners have completed the program, volunteered close to 96,000 hours and reported over 130,000 contacts with the public, family forestland owners and various organizations. In 2013 alone, their service was valued at $100,000. In a survey of over 130 Master Woodland Managers, more than 90 percent said the training greatly improved their knowledge and management of forestland.
Source: Nicole Strong, coordinator of the Master Woodland Manager program; Oregon's Family Forestlands report by the Oregon Forest Resources Institute