WCC1003: Coordination of Western Regional Extension Forestry Activities

(Multistate Research Coordinating Committee and Information Exchange Group)

Status: Active

SAES-422 Reports

Annual/Termination Reports:

[12/15/2021] [01/17/2023] [09/29/2023]

Date of Annual Report: 12/15/2021

Report Information

Annual Meeting Dates: 12/03/2021 - 12/03/2021
Period the Report Covers: 07/01/2019 - 12/31/2021


Jones, Chris, University of Arizona
Ober, Holly, Oregon State University
Zamora, Diomy, USDA NIFA
Cram, Doug, New Mexico State University
McAvoy, Darren, Utah State University
Perleberg, Andy, Washington State University
Cheng, Tony, Colorado State University
Friday, J.B., University of Hawaii
Kolb, Peter, Montana State University
Tompkins, Ryan, University of California
Warren, Bill, University of Idaho
Shults, Patrick, Washington State University
Alexander, Sean, Washington State University
Christiansen, Alicia, Oregon State University
Powell, Jacob, Oregon State University
Kline, Norma, Oregon State University
Berger, Carrie, Oregon State University
Groth, Aaron, Oregon State University
Kraemer, Lauren, Oregon State University
Rosenberg, Andrew, Oregon State University
Bennett, Max, Oregon State University
Hoshiko, Sumi, California Dept of Public Health
Hayashi, Thomas, California Dept of Public Health
Clements, Katherine, South Carolina

Brief Summary of Minutes

(An annual meeting planned was for July 2020 in Sandpoint, Idaho. The meeting was cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and was not rescheduled due to continuing pandemic-related disruptions. A transition in Administrative Advisor also occurred in 2021.)

Brief summary of minutes of annual meeting: After a welcome by Chair Chris Jones, participants made introductions and shared their projects and experiences since 2020. Common themes included:  Wildfires and smoke from wildfires, various aspects of prescribed fire, including legal issues on private land; landscape restoration; nursery stock pathogens that escape into the wild; biochar opportunities; educational videos and podcasts, chainsaw safety, FRTEP/1994 relationships; and rangelands. 

Our invited speaker was Sumi Hoshiko, an epidemiologist and research scientist with the California Department of Public Health. Her presentation was titled: Wildfire Smoke – Health Effects Research and Looking Ahead. The talk covered current knowledge and trends in wildfire smoke and particulate matter and what is known about health effects, including populations with increased vulnerability. She also addressed research gaps and the question of how to address the increasing wildfire threat. The presentation was well received by the participants and generated an engaged discussion during the Q&A session.

Doug Cram, Extension Forestry and Fire Specialist, New Mexico State University, is chair-elect. He will host the next WCC 1003 meeting in New Mexico, tentatively in August 2022. Elections will be held at this meeting.



<p><strong>Accomplishments</strong></p><br /> <p>Cross boundary partnerships resulted from the WCC. Specifically, WCC Chair Chris Jones initiated an online event titled: Biochar Opportunities in the Southwest: Extension Workshop: <a href="https://extension.arizona.edu/events/2021-04-07/biochar-opportunities-southwest-extension-workshop">https://extension.arizona.edu/events/2021-04-07/biochar-opportunities-southwest-extension-workshop</a> . It was held on April 7-9, 2021. Planning was conducted by University Arizona&rsquo;s Chris Jones, Utah State University&rsquo;s Darren McAvoy, Colorado State University&rsquo;s Tony Cheng and New Mexico State University&rsquo;s Doug Cram. Key partners included Colorado State Forestry, USDA Forest Service and Research Stations, US Biochar Initiative, Quivira Coalition, and several private biochar entrepreneurs.</p><br /> <p>The workshop goals were to: Raise awareness about biochar ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration; forest management and forest health concerns; wildfire/WUI risk and smoke impacts on public health; Raise awareness for entrepreneurs regarding economies of scale, including micro-scale opportunities; entrepreneurial clusters; markets and supply chains, and; Collect and refine stakeholder input on barriers and opportunities to develop biochar as an economically viable forest product.</p><br /> <p>The targeted audience were: Biomass entrepreneurs: Active and potential; Landowners and managers from: Mining companies, ranches, non-industrial forest lands, state, county, tribal and federal lands, turf industry, landfill/waste management industry, sawmills, horticulture, agriculture; Potential markets: Wildland restoration, mining restoration, cattle industry, landfill/waste management, soil amendment for turf, saline soils, horticulture and farming. Between 192 and 208 people participated.</p><br /> <p>Presentations included:</p><br /> <ul><br /> <li><strong>Keynote Presentation:</strong> Thomas R. Miles, United States Biochar Initiative, Executive Director. Biochar markets continue to grow in North America creating new opportunities to convert wood and agricultural residues to sustainable carbon while restoring soil health and improving water quality. More than 135 US companies supply an estimated 50,000 tons of biochar per year. Tom described new efforts to use biochar to:&nbsp; improve soil health; restore degraded urban soils and abandoned mine lands; reduce water pollution from pharmaceuticals and fertilizers; remove nutrients, metals and bacteria from stormwater; and develop market platforms which value biochar for sequestering carbon.</li><br /> <li><strong>Why biochar? </strong>USDA Forest Service Research Station scientists Dr. Deborah Page-Dumroese and Dr. Nathaniel Anderson discussed Soil health, sustainability, and ecosystem services; and The economics of biochar enterprise with a focus on scale, industrial ecology, markets, carbon, feedstock and competitive advantages in the Southwest, respectively. USDA Forest Service Program Specialist Laura Wolf discussed USFS funding opportunities and assistance on biochar and other wood utilization opportunities.</li><br /> <li><strong>Technical Presentations:</strong> Land Grant University Professors Darren McAvoy, USU, and Dr Katie Brewer, NMSU, discussed how to make biochar and scales of production; and matching properties of biochar quality to applications, respectively.</li><br /> <li><strong>Entrepreneur panel and virtual fieldtrip: </strong>Emerging and established entrepreneurs shared their experiences and lessons learned through a panel session and virtual fieldtrip. They included: Eva Stricker, Director of Quivira Coalition&rsquo;s Carbon Ranch Initiative; Tyson Nicoll, Arizona Log &amp; TimberWorks, CEO; Heather Nobert, Forest Product Marketing Coordinator, Nebraska Forest Service; Gordon West, CEO and Product Development Director, Trollworks, New Mexico; Kelpie Wilson, Wilson Biochar Associates; and John Webster, Owner, GO Biochar.</li><br /> </ul>


Impact Statements

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Date of Annual Report: 01/17/2023

Report Information

Annual Meeting Dates: 10/17/2022 - 10/20/2022
Period the Report Covers: 01/01/2022 - 12/31/2022


Chris Jones, University of Arizona, Chair
Doug Cram, New Mexico State University, Chair-Elect
Holly Ober, Oregon State University, Administrative Advisor
Darren McAvoy, Utah State University
Andy Perleberg, Washington State University
Diomy Zamora, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Chris Schnepf, University of Idaho (Zoom participation only)

Brief Summary of Minutes

The 3-day meeting of the committee was organized and hosted by Chair-Elect Doug Cram, NMSU Extension Forestry Specialist. The meeting began in Silver City, NM, and included sites in and speakers from the Gila National Forest and private forest products entrepreneurs in adjacent communities. 

After a welcome from Doug, participants engaged in a round robin of state activities and accomplishments. Common themes included:  Interest in biochar, agroforestry, NIFA funding opportunities, wildfire preparedness (Firewise) and recovery, and prescribed fire. *Details of the round-robin are provided at the end of the report.

Doug Cram, Extension Forestry and Fire Specialist, New Mexico State University, advanced to WCC Chair. No chair-elect was elected at the time. The next WCC 1003 meeting is expected to be held at Sandpoint, Idaho in August 2023.

At the end of the indoor portion of the meeting, invited speaker Gabriel Partido, Fuels and Vegetation Program Manager for the Gila National Forest, provided an overview of the Gila National Forest, which encompasses 3.3 million acres. We discussed low value timber and limited milling capacity, although there is an emerging market from blue-stained ponderosa pine. Another critical issue is watershed management and wildfire impacts, most recently from the 2022 Black Fire, which burned 325,136 acres (New Mexico’s second largest recorded wildfire). Long-term drought in the 21st century has caused rapidly changing forest conditions over the last decade, and Ips bark beetle infestations are epidemic.

Over the course of the following two days, Doug guided a field tour of the Gila National Forest, Black Fire and surrounding area, where we heard from three individuals on a variety of topics:

  • Biochar Entrepreneur Gordon West: Mr. West’s business uses forest biomass to make biochar and compost. He’s active with the community and seeking grants for innovative biomass solutions. His inventions include using pecan shells to make a heater/stove, and a composting system to reduce school cafeteria food waste into compost.

  • Gila Forest Supervisor Michael Hutchins met with WCC participants at two locations on the forest. We discussed forest management challenges, including wildland fire, fuel reduction, T&E species, timber sales, grazing, watershed, and ensuring multiple use (Figure 1, right panel).

  • Forest products entrepreneur Randy Lack: Mr. Lack has a small mill operation where he uses blue-stained timber to cut 1x8 boards which are finished to make decorative paneling. He demonstrated the equipment and showed the finished product at a church and his home. He says demand is good but sometimes it is difficult to get logs from the forest.

Member reports (round robin):

Darren (representing Utah): He recently submitted a grant proposal to enable comparison of biochar techniques (e.g., big box, curtain, ring of fire). He’s working on a maple syrup grant (USDA funding).

Andy (representing Washington): New hires for WA include an Extension forester in NE WA and a new tenure track faculty with expertise in forest entomology. They’ve recently received several offers of forested property donations they may accept with the intent to use for Extension trainings. Online classes during the pandemic allowed for large numbers of people attending remotely, but it’s challenging to measure true impact through this learning format. He’s engaged with a collaboration with OSU to work on first foods (agroforestry). Statewide chainsaw safety & maintenance trainings for 10 northwest tribes (five in E WA & five in W WA) is underway.  A new WSU school farm engaged the Spokane Tribe in demonstration development for land uses relevant to the community and the tribe, including Rxfire, silvopasture, riparian restoration, and aspen regeneration.  

Diomy (representing NIFA): After serving as an Extension Forester in MN for 16 years, he’s now National Program Leader within NIFA and has been asked to describe pressing issues facing western Extension Foresters so NIFA can allocate relevant grant funding through a request for proposal (RFP). NIFA doesn’t yet know FY23 budget. More than half of their budget goes to capacity funding; the two forestry funding mechanisms within NIFA are McIntire-Stennis and RREA. The American Rescue Plan Act will make $ available through NEXTGEN funding with the intent to train and recruit students for the next generation of food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences workforce. A request for application (RFA) on fuel management will emerge soon through the Infrastructure Investment and Inflation Reduction Act. We should expect an overhaul of RREA soon; NIFA wants to see impacts rather than outcomes. A new RREA strategic plan is being developed. The RREA rfa for competitive RREA funding will appear in Nov or Dec 2022. Diomy suggested inviting David Cassidy to join our next meeting to better understand our perspective, or have him come to ANREP or SAF meetings.

Holly (representing Oregon): The OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension team gathers annually to identify pressing issues across the state that could be tackled collaboratively. Topics identified in 2021 were forest carbon (understanding markets, offsets), management of early seral forest stands (what steps to take to provide benefits to wildlife, to inform reforestation practices), wildfire preparedness (addressing risks in the Home Ignition Zone), growing redwoods (we’re not advocating for this, just gathering information so advice can be provided when requested), and expanding the Extension career pipeline. Topics identified in 2022 were recovery/reforestation after wildfires/forest disturbance, communicating about wildfire risk, Emerald ash borer, climate change/assisted migration, workforce equity for forest workers, seed/seedling availability, prescribed fire, and curriculum for professional loggers.

Chris Schnepf (representing Idaho): He and colleagues are working on standing programs such as Women Owning Networks and Master Forest Stewards, and new efforts such as assisted migration field day, possible upcoming biochar field day, “participatory action research”, and habitat typing. A multi-state product he’s working on is a PNW publication with colleagues from OSU on carbon markets. He suggested we consider a potential WCC publication on biochar curriculum. He offered to host the next WCC meeting in Sand Point, ID, likely in August 2023.

Chris Jones (representing Arizona): Chris promotes biochar as described in the cross-boundary accomplishments section. He worked closely with the Globe community which was impacted by the Telegraph fire to submit grants for greater support to address Firewise education and activities. He is a member of the Arizona Fire Adapted Communities learning network.

Doug Cram (representing New Mexico): Ironically, Doug continues to engage in prescribed fire Extension programing across New Mexico (despite the destructive Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon wildfire that started when two prescribed burn events, one a broadcast fire and the other a re-ignited winter pile burn, merged to burn over 300,000 acres and destroy 800+ structures/homes).  This Extension programming consists of “Learn and Burn” events for private landowners, contributions toward a new Prescribed Burn Act for the state of NM, and development of a 10-element on-line prescribed burn curriculum required by the state to achieve a “prescribed burn manager certification.”  Doug also serves as a Co-PI for the Southwest Fire Science Consortium.


<p><strong>Accomplishments Relative to Expected Outcomes and Impacts of WCC 1003</strong></p><br /> <p>The annual meeting gave the participants opportunities to discuss common themes and identify areas where we could increase our collective impact by collaborating in the future. Below is list of areas of interest to be explored in 2023:</p><br /> <ol><br /> <li><strong>Enhanced regional and sub-regional opportunities for increased integration. </strong><br /> <ul><br /> <li>The majority of the formal, indoor annual meeting was spent discussing issues in each state, in an effort to identify common concerns.</li><br /> <li>Topics of mutual interest that surfaced included biochar, maple syrup production, forest carbon, wildfire risk reduction, increasing awareness of the Extension career pathway, and climate change/assisted migration.</li><br /> <li>A cross-boundary effort currently underway is a publication on forest carbon markets for private landowners (involving ID, OR, and WA).</li><br /> </ul><br /> </li><br /> <li><strong>Greater regional awareness of common issues and trends. </strong><br /> <ul><br /> <li>The group discussed recent/future efforts, challenges, and opportunities in our respective states, in an effort to identify commonalities.</li><br /> </ul><br /> </li><br /> <li><strong>Development of innovations in program design and implementation.</strong><br /> <ul><br /> <li>The group recognized that during the pandemic we adopted remote programming techniques, which enabled us to reach larger audiences than ever before. However, it&rsquo;s not yet known if individuals who attend remote events increase knowledge and skills and adopt new practices at similar rates as attendees at in-person trainings. Additional investigation on this topic is warranted.</li><br /> </ul><br /> </li><br /> <li><strong>Deeper penetration into common clientele groups and new audiences.</strong><br /> <ul><br /> <li>The group discussed programming for Native American audiences.</li><br /> <li>There was discussion of the NEXTGEN funding opportunity to enhance the diversity of students who consider careers in natural resources.</li><br /> </ul><br /> </li><br /> <li><strong>Increase effectiveness of relevant natural resource disciplines into program design and delivery.</strong><br /> <ul><br /> <li>There was recognition of the growing importance of climate change and water scarcity on all aspects of natural resource management.</li><br /> </ul><br /> </li><br /> <li><strong>Improved effectiveness and accountability of existing programs.</strong><br /> <ul><br /> <li>Diomy hinted that there will be changes to RREA funding expectations in the near future.</li><br /> </ul><br /> </li><br /> </ol><br /> <p><strong>Cross-boundary accomplishments made possible due to communications from past meetings &nbsp;</strong></p><br /> <ul><br /> <li>Following up on the Biochar Opportunities in the Southwest: Extension Workshop in April 2021, Chris Jones had two 4&rsquo;x4&rsquo;x2&rsquo; biochar demonstration kilns built. He hosted USU Forest Products Extension Specialist Darren McAvoy for a 2-day workshop Globe, AZ in March 2022 (<a href="https://extension.arizona.edu/biochar-workshop-kiln-demonstration">https://extension.arizona.edu/biochar-workshop-kiln-demonstration</a>). Roughly 40 participants learned about biochar from Darren and UA soil scientist Rivka Fidel in a hybrid workshop. Darren led two kiln demonstrations attended by 30 participants, several from the AZ Dept of Forestry and Fire Management. Chris continued to host biochar kiln demonstrations in Arizona: Pine-Strawberry (April; 25 participants); Pinetop-Lakeside (July; 10 participants); and San Carlos (September; 30 participants). Chris presented about the kiln twice: Pinetop-Lakeside (July; 50 participants) and NACAA AM/PIC in Florida (July; 40 participants). The kiln has also fostered a partnership with Dr Han Sup-Han, NAU professor and ERI forest ops &amp; biomass utilization director. Dr Han and Jones submitted an unsuccessful grant proposal but will continue to collaborate on biochar research and outreach in 2023.</li><br /> <li>Darren McAvoy from Utah State University collaborates with Tony Cheng from Colorado State University to help lead the Southern Rockies Fire Science Network (SRFSN) which helped to fund some of the biochar production activities in and around Utah in 2022.</li><br /> <li>Individuals from ID, OR, and WA are collaborating on a PNW publication that explains carbon markets to small woodland owners. Core sections of the document have been drafted and a contract will soon be developed to enlist assistance from a graphic designer.</li><br /> <li>Extension Forestry Field Days (large &gt; 200 landowners, and small &lt;50 landowners) were led by WSU, UI, and OSU. Geographies included the Selkirk Mountains in north Idaho and NE Washington, and SW Washington and Northeast Oregon Blue Mountains region.</li><br /> <li>Collaboration in the Northwest Fire Science Consortium increased by OR &amp; WA establishing work plan expectations for 2024 outreach &amp; engagement.</li><br /> </ul>


Impact Statements

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Date of Annual Report: 09/29/2023

Report Information

Annual Meeting Dates: 08/29/2023 - 08/30/2023
Period the Report Covers: 01/01/2023 - 09/01/2023


• Clark, Nehalem - Rocky Mountain Research Station, USFS
• Cochran, Audra - University of Idaho
• Fagerlie, Dan - Washington State University (online)
• Fitzgerald, Stephen - Oregon State University (online)
• Friday, J. B. - University of Hawaii (online)
• Gosz, Rusty - University of Idaho
• Groth, Aaron - Oregon State University
• Klein, Norma - Oregon State University
• Kolb, Peter - Montana State University (online)
• McAvoy, Darren - Utah State University
• Ober, Holly - Oregon State University, WCC Administrative Advisor
• Perleberg, Andy - Washington State University, WCC Chair-Elect
• Schnepf, Chris - University of Idaho, WCC de facto Chair
• Zamora, Diomy - USDA NIFA

Brief Summary of Minutes

The 2-day meeting of the committee was organized and hosted by de facto Chair Chris Schnepf, UI Extension Forester. The meeting began with ¾ day indoors in Sandpoint, at the Sandpoint Organic Ag Center, followed by a field tour of several sites in the vicinity in the late afternoon and a field tour the entire following day. 

After a welcome from Chris on the first day, participants introduced themselves. There were 10 individuals present in person and 4 online, representing universities from 6 states (HI, ID, MT, OR, UT, WA) and 2 federal agencies (NIFA, USFS).

Holly Ober provided an overview of the Western Coordinating Committee of Extension Foresters for those new to the group. We are an “official” multi-state entity, formally chartered by the Ag Experiment Station Directors, under the authority of the Hatch Act, formed with the intent of fostering multi-state, multi-institution, and multi-disciplinary collaboration among Extension forestry programs that span the Western states. We identify present and emerging forest resource management issues of large-scale significance and evaluate potential interest and capacity for addressing them using a multi-state approach. Meetings typically include 5 primary components: introductions and time to get to know one another; information sharing on issues of multi-state interest including a round-robin discussion of recent events, newly created products and resources, and ongoing efforts likely of mutual interest; conversations about present and emerging issues of concern that span state boundaries, including discussion of potential opportunities to work together and exploration of funding opportunities that could be jointly pursued; updates from USDA-NIFA; and a field tour with local experts to see forestry issues on the ground.

Each multistate project submits a proposal of 5-year duration that outlines a justification for the group’s existence, a description of the group’s objectives, and a list of expected outcomes and impacts. The current proposal is the second for this group, with the first spanning 2014-2019 and the second 2019-2024. The group will need to submit a new proposal by January 2024 if we intend to continue functioning 2024-2029. Everyone present was in agreement that we ought to submit a new proposal. We agreed to look at the two past proposals, and update the language so that it reflects new and emerging issues of broad interest to those in the group, and promises the use of modernized approaches to address them. Diomy Zamora requested that we try to craft objectives that are more specific and quantifiable than those of past proposals. Individuals suggested several pointed areas of improvement and recommended additions to objectives within the current proposal that could be incorporated into the new proposal. Holly agreed to draft an updated proposal and send it around to others for input.

As for governance, the group agreed that because no chair-elect had been selected, Chris Schnepf was deserving of the role of chair of the group for the current year, given all the effort he put into planning the current meeting. Andy Perleberg volunteered to serve as chair-elect and will host the meeting in 2024.

Next, the group engaged in a round robin to share about activities and accomplishments. Topics that arose (in alphabetical order) included: agroforestry, biochar, chainsaw training, citizen science, climate change, early seral forest management, forest health, information dissemination and battling misinformation, invasive species management, professional logger educational training, restoration following wildfires, tribal partnerships, wildfire risk reduction, Women Owning Woodlands, and workforce development. Individuals highlighted the value of RREA funding to support their efforts and the value of having demonstration forests to provide learning opportunities for clientele. 

Next, the group was joined by Sara Delheimer, Program Coordinator and Impact Writer for the Multistate Research Fund Impact Program. Sara led the group through a workshop on effective impact reporting. She began with some background information and then we proceeded to lead the critique of some example statements. Sara defined impact as changes in knowledge, behavior, or conditions, and explained that impact statements should answer the questions “so what?” and “who cares?”. They should be written for readers who are not technical experts (e.g., should avoid the use of jargon), should be brief but clear (i.e., focused), should use an active voice, and should provide context. Each impact statement should have 4 components: describe the issue, tell what action was taken, describe results/outputs, and tell about the impact. She highlighted the importance of considering what impacts might be achieved by a project at the very beginning so that measurements of appropriate factors can be taken over time to allow reporting on changes resulting from educational efforts.

Following lunch, Diomy Zamora provided an update from USDA-NIFA. After serving as an Extension Forester in MN for 16 years, he’s now National Program Leader within NIFA. At the meeting last year he had mentioned he had been asked to describe pressing issues facing western Extension Foresters so NIFA can allocate relevant grant funding through competitive programs and he followed up by sharing that he was in fact able to incorporate what he heard during the WCC 2022 field tour into an RFA to benefit small businesses (SBIR – Small Business Innovation Research). He also shared that a new Director was appointed for NIFA, Manjit Misra, and the acting director, Dionne Tombs, has transitioned to Associate Director for Programs. Last year there was $2.1 billion in funding given through capacity and competitive funding. NIFA’s new strategic plan (encompassing 2022-2026) identifies 6 goals (Combat Climate Change to Support America's Working Lands, Natural Resources, and Communities; Ensure America's Agricultural System is Equitable, Resilient, and Prosperous; Foster an Equitable and Competitive Marketplace for All Agricultural Producers; Provide All Americans Safe, Nutritious Food; Expand Opportunities for Economic Development and Improve Quality of Life in Rural and Tribal Communities; and Attract, Inspire and Retain an Engaged and Motivated Workforce that's Proud to Represent USDA). Diomy highlighted a new “USDA Science and Research Strategy Plan” that describes a vision to transform agriculture and forestry systems to address the challenges faced across the US during the next 3 years. Diomy explained that although $30 million is authorized annually for RREA efforts, only $4 million is given by congress. He challenged us to help him better understand the impacts of our work so he can educate others about the importance of our efforts and potentially obtain more funding to support it. Emphasis should be on impacts rather than outputs. Diomy mentioned that the current RREA Strategic Plan has been extended until next year, after which time a new plan will be released. Diomy also mentioned opportunities to apply for conference grants that provide up to $50,000. 

Next, the group began a field tour to learn about local forestry issues. The first destination was the McArthur Lake Wildlife Corridor, an area plagued by an extraordinarily high rate of wildlife collisions with motor vehicles. Kennon McKlintock from Idaho TNC spoke about the role of the Forest Legacy Program to protect private working forestlands from conversion to other uses through the use of voluntary conservation easements. Next, the group visited Young Living Highland Flats Tree Farm and Distillery to learn from Todd Hittle and Michael Carter about all aspects of the distillation of essential oils from conifers.

On the second day the group visited 4 locations. First, Paul Buckland and Frank Morado shared information about the North American Assisted Migration Adaptation Trials as we viewed one of the 48 field test locations that extend from northern California to southern Yukon. Then we visited a fuel break and heard about Good Neighbor Authority work from Eric Valiquette, Bill Love, and Ken Homik, as they described the Scattered Lands Hazardous Fuels/Shared Stewardship work. After lunch we heard from Andrew Moore about other Scattered Lands Good Neighbor Authority treatments. Lastly, we visited the Priest River Experimental Forest where Hannah Basham, Terrie Jain, Jason Reinhardt, and John Byrne showed long-term demonstration plots, hybrid Douglas-fir trials, huckleberry microsite research, and forest regeneration research.



<p>The annual meeting provided opportunities to discuss common themes and identify areas where we could increase our collective impact by collaborating in the future. Below we describe our discussions according to the six "Expected Outcomes and Impacts" described in our current project description.</p><br /> <ol><br /> <li><strong>Enhanced regional and sub-regional opportunities for increased integration. </strong></li><br /> <ul><br /> <li>Much of the indoor annual meeting was spent discussing topics of interest in each state, with the goal of identifying areas of shared interest and concern.</li><br /> <li>Topics of mutual interest that surfaced included biochar, forest health, wildfire fuel reduction, post-fire recovery, cross boundary efforts, climate change, and maple syrup production.</li><br /> <li>A cross-boundary effort that seems to be of interest to many in the group is a joint publication on biochar. Given that Chris Jones (AZ) is in the process of organizing a session on biochar at the 2024 ANREP conference, this coming year could be a good time for the group to also work on a multistate publication.</li><br /> </ul><br /> <li><strong>Greater regional awareness of common issues and trends. </strong></li><br /> <ul><br /> <li>The group discussed recent efforts and planned future efforts, as well as challenges and opportunities in our respective states, in an effort to identify commonalities.</li><br /> </ul><br /> <li><strong>Development of innovations in program design and implementation.</strong></li><br /> <ul><br /> <li>The group recognized the need to better quantify our impacts. The training provided by Sara Delheimer during this annual meeting should assist us in in thinking about what metrics we ought to measure as we begin planning new programs so that we&rsquo;re positioned well to describe impacts at the end. We anticipate beginning work on crafting our objectives soon, keeping in mind the need to define them so that can be reported on in a quantifiable way later.</li><br /> <li>We also discussed effective means of information sharing and efforts to battle misinformation through joint messaging.</li><br /> </ul><br /> <li><strong>Deeper penetration into common clientele groups and new audiences.</strong></li><br /> <ul><br /> <li>The group discussed programming to reach Native American audiences. We shared approaches taken and lessons learned.</li><br /> <li>Several members also shared information about their efforts to reach professional loggers through both in-person and online trainings.</li><br /> </ul><br /> <li><strong>Increase effectiveness of relevant natural resource disciplines into program design and delivery.</strong></li><br /> <ul><br /> <li>There was recognition of the growing importance of climate change and boundary-spanning efforts on natural resource management.</li><br /> </ul><br /> <li><strong>Improved effectiveness and accountability of existing programs.</strong></li><br /> <ul><br /> <li>Diomy suggested that when we write our proposal outlining our 2024-2029 efforts, we craft objectives that are more specific and more quantifiable than was the case with the current proposal so that our impacts are more readily apparent. The training provided by Sara Delheimer should assist us in this regard.</li><br /> </ul><br /> </ol><br /> <p><strong>Cross-boundary accomplishments made possible due to communications from past meetings &nbsp;</strong></p><br /> <ul><br /> <li>Biochar Workshop (n=~75 individuals) organized by Chris Schnepf (ID); expert instructor was Darren McAvoy (UT).</li><br /> <li>Field training of consulting and state foresters offered by Chris Schnepf (ID) and Andy Perleberg (WA).</li><br /> <li>Publication currently undergoing peer review from Extension foresters from ID, OR, and WA that explains carbon markets to small woodland owners. The document is expected to be available in print and online later this year.</li><br /> </ul>


Impact Statements

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