WCC1003: Coordination of Western Regional Extension Forestry Activities

(Multistate Research Coordinating Committee and Information Exchange Group)

Status: Active

WCC1003: Coordination of Western Regional Extension Forestry Activities

Duration: 10/01/2019 to 09/30/2024

Administrative Advisor(s):


NIFA Reps:


Statement of Issues and Justification

Justification: Changing climate conditions have led to longer fire seasons, increased firefighting costs, more residential wildfire disasters, and an increase in forest mortality. Wildfire activity is only expected to intensify in the coming decades (Prichard et al 2014). The Western states have 233 million acres of forested lands, with approximately 66% of which are in the public domain while 34% are owned by non-governmental entities (source: National Association of State Foresters, www.stateforesters.org.) These non-governmental stakeholders constitute a primary target for Extension educational programs in woodland and forest management and wildlife habitat enhancement, and other natural resource issues. Communities in and closely adjacent to forests are another important consumer of extension forestry information. There is a need across the West to develop coordinated extension forestry efforts on a multi-state basis to achieve both programmatic and administrative efficiency and to help meet the requirements of the Agricultural, Research, Extension and Education Reform Act (AREERA).


Currently, the Western states extension forestry programs vary widely in scope and depth. Numerous states have only one or very few agents or specialists predominantly dedicated to forestry, with only one state having 20 or more. The Western Coordination Committee (WCC) coordinates the wide diversity of resources committed to western extension forestry and related renewable natural resources.


 

Objectives

  1. Share istitutional ideas to strengthen regional partnerships 2. through annual open forums and shared experiences at annual WCC meetings and field tours.
  2. Identify existing successful state forestry Extension programs by closely observing national award programs such as the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP) Award Program, and leverage their effectiveness through shared information in the practice of formal presentations at the annual WCC, which provides the forum for sharing knowledge and resources.
  3. Coordinate regional responses to funding opportunities, such as the USDA Forest Service Wood Innovation Grant program and Bureau of Land Management pinyon juniper management funding, to collaborate responses to emerging issues, including a) Seek extramural resources; and b) identify opportunities for multistate collaboration and integrated activities.
  4. Coordinate hazardous fuels reduction education strategies.
  5. Seek opportunities for shared scholarship as measured by an increased number of coauthored publications from the group..
  6. Develop and manage appropriate regional forestry programs and publications.
  7. Strengthen linkages with national efforts such as eXtension and EDEN as measured by an increased number of products such as webinars and publications distributed through these networks.
  8. Fortify the group through continued recruiting of new members.

Procedures and Activities

An email listserv will be updated and maintained for communication and WCC members will meet in-person annually (and regularly via tele/videoconference) to address the objectives listed above.

Expected Outcomes and Impacts

  • • Enhanced regional and sub-regional opportunities for increased integration.
  • • Greater regional awareness of common issues and trends.
  • • Development of innovations in program design and implementation.
  • • Deeper penetration into common clientele groups and new audiences.
  • • Increase effectiveness of relevant natural resource disciplines into program design and delivery.
  • • Improved effectiveness and accountability of existing programs.

Projected Participation

View Appendix E: Participation

Educational Plan

WCC Education Plan is to coordinate and extend the sharing of information amongst peers to help Western Extension faculty address challenges and develop opportunities that are both relevant to their state forestry discussions and common ground across the region. We will bolster this approach through partnerships with national programs such as eXtension and EDEN.

Organization/Governance

Operational structure: A chair and secretary/chair-elect is selected from participating western extension forestry representatives with rotating, two-year terms. They will together be responsible for coordinating meetings, writing reports, and communicating with the administrative advisor. The Administrative Advisor will serve as an ex officio member of the Administrative Board.

Literature Cited

Prichard, S., Kennedy, M.C., 2014. Fuel treatments and landform modify landscape patterns of burn severity in an extreme fire event. Ecological Applications 24(3), pp. 571–590.

Attachments

Land Grant Participating States/Institutions

AZ, CO, OR, UT, WA

Non Land Grant Participating States/Institutions

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