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Ny Rrea Program


<p>RREA at Cornell has sufficient staff and resources to focus on four primary issues: forest stewardship, wildlife resources, food safety and security, and invasive species. Biomass for energy and climate variability are important, and will be addressed via a connected but peripheral strategy. </p>
<p>I. RREA Goal: Enhance resource management on working forests. </p>
<p>Issue: Forest Stewardship. </p>
<p>Forest Stewardship Objectives: (1) Increase awareness among woodland owners for management practices that support healthy and productive working forests. (2) Increase knowledge of owners for decision making related to increased production and profitability in conjunction with sustaining or restoring forest health. (3) Increase the awareness of town and county policy makers for the positive role of healthy and productive private woodlands. </p>
<p>Issue: Forest Wildlife Resources. </p>
<p>Wildlife Objectives: (1) Increase owner and manager knowledge of the impacts of deer on forest health. (2) Increase owner and manager knowledge of strategies that reduce the impacts of deer on the regeneration of hardwood forests. (3) Provide landowners and managers with information and tools regarding trade-offs associated with managing for different species and outcomes. </p>
<p>Issue: Food Production, Safety, and Security. </p>
<p>Forest-based Food Objectives: (1) Increase woodland owner awareness for opportunities to utilize existing forest land for food production. (2) Increase the profitability of existing producers through more efficient production systems, value-added products, and improved marketing. (3) Develop educational materials that help woodland owners gain the confidence necessary to initiate a forest-based food system. </p>
<p>Working Forests Outcomes: 1.Statewide marketing campaign that connects woodland owners and managers with CCE resources. 2.Active participation of program staff and trained volunteers in workshops, conferences, and seminars. 3.Educational resources for county educators to use with town and county officials. University interns mentored in practices of extension education. 4.Demonstration sites for sustainable and productive working private woodlands. 5.Online courses, networks, webinars, video, and resources that support productive working forests. 6.Applied research to identify improvements in production systems and conservation of habitats. </p>
<p>II. RREA Goal: Ensuring Healthy Ecosystems. </p>
<p>Issue: Invasive and interfering species. </p>
<p>Invasive and Interfering Species Objectives: (1) Increase owner and manager awareness for and knowledge of management strategies, and corresponding consequences, to control invasive and interfering species. (2) Build upon partnerships with other organizations who are involved with private land management for the control of invasive and interfering species. Ensuring Healthy Ecosystem Outputs 1.Field workshops to demonstrate issues, practices, and safety considerations 2.Demonstration sites illustrating management practices 3.Bulletins and fact sheets 4.Expanded intra- and inter-organizational partnerships for applied research and outreach 5.Conferences and seminars 6.Online resources such as written materials, social networks, webinars, and narrated presentations</p>

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<p>NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY:<br/> Forest property owners often lack the awareness, knowledge and skills to effectively and sustainably use and sustain their property. The number of owners has increased in recent years, owners desire a variety of outputs from their property, and these properties are important to the well-being of society. RREA is part of Cornell's ForestConnect program and receives counsel from an advisory committee of owners, educators, agency personnel and industry staff. RREA via Cornell University Cooperative Extension will develop educational programs that support owners in their decision making process. Owners need to be aware of issues that limit sustainability. They need to understand the fullness and complexity of factors as they make decisions about if and how to manage the forests and habitats on their property. Owners may produce timber, firewood,
other biofuels, maple syrup and other local foods, and specific or general types of wildlife habitat. These outputs are typically compatible, but burgeoning deer populations, overabundant invasive and interfering plants, and past exploitive harvesting complicate management decisions and options. Related to these opportunities and threats, educational programs will increase awareness of the issues, knowledge of the principles and strategies, and skills for implementation. A variety of educational venues will be used to connect owners and other stakeholders with educational resources while balancing cost, efficiency, and effectiveness. In-service training will support county programs, and connect extension educators and state specialists. Online resources include webinars, online courses, moderated social networks, accessible written content, and video training. Peer-to-peer volunteers
will be trained to share their experiences and help owners connect to professionals for technical assistance. Workshops, field days and conferences will connect owners directly with educators, program staff and specialists. Program staff will support partners who share similar goals in resource management, particularly owner associations, through conferences, workshops, and written materials. Several outcomes are anticipated. A subset of specific example outcomes include: Ex. 1 Woodland owners will be aware of issues that affect their ownership objectives. The owners will have a deeper knowledge of the context and solutions for issues, and will develop and use skills to implement effective solutions. Ex. 2 Woodland owners will be able to assess their objectives within the context of regional issues and societal values, and they will make informed decisions about priorities for their
woodlands. Ex. 3 Owners, managers and interested citizens will improve their understanding of the ecological characteristics of invasive species and how these characteristics relate to management options. Ex. 4 Maple and forest livestock producers will possess the skills to profitably and sustainably produce high quality local foods while enhancing environmental conditions. Formal and informal evaluations will document progress towards these outcomes.
<p>APPROACH:<br/> 1. Online: A variety of online media will be used. Webinars will be offered monthly, with additional special feature webinars on an as needed basis. The social network site will be further developed for interactions among stakeholders and to share resources. Two online courses will be launched in the first year, one on tree identification and the other on woodlot management for woody biofuels. Additional online courses are anticipated. Twitter will be minimally used, but with a maintained presence. The base page for the program, will include all program-relevant educational materials. Video will be uploaded to YouTube and also distributed through the social network. RREA funds as necessary will ensure adequate computer hardware and software. 2. Peer-volunteers: Master Forest Owner volunteers will
continue to connect with private woodland owners. Annually there will be a new volunteer training and three regional refreshers. Regional coordinators will assist with program management. 3. Demonstration sites: University and private woodlands will be used, and may demonstrate practices such as, management of interfering vegetation, silvopasture, woody biomass harvests, deer impacts, and silvicultural practices. 4. Applied research: Applied research within the context of direct support of extension education will address issues and questions that lack an adequate research basis. RREA funds will at most provide a minimal supplement to applied research funds. Topics may include vegetation management, controlling deer impacts, woody biofuel production, and silvicultural manipulations. 5. Workshops and field days: Field-based events will be held with CCE educators and on Cornell lands to
describe and illustrate sustainable practices. 6. Conferences and seminars: Indoor events will provide audiences with seminar style learning on a variety of topics. 7. Mass media: A marketing campaign in regional weekly newspapers, four weeks twice per year, will draw attention to educational program resources. 8. Educator inservice: An annual forestry-maple training for CCE educators will provide an opportunity to share program strategies, and interact with campus specialists. 9. Written materials: Staff and specialists, with colleagues, will develop fact sheets, bulletins, and article series on RREA topics. Written materials will typically be available online. 10. Organizational support: Staff will work with partner organizations, for example NYFOA and the state forestry agency, on projects of mutual interest and that enhance working forest conditions. 11. Evaluation of program
activities will happen through informal exit surveys, documentation of participation at events, web-based analytical software, and calculations that project behavior changes. We will also conduct formal surveys of people who use programs to understand their response, and to help adjust our estimates of changes from non-surveyed program activities.
<p>PROGRESS: 2011/10 TO 2012/09<br/>OUTPUTS: Duplicate Project with NYC-147570 PARTICIPANTS: Duplicate Project with NYC-147570 TARGET AUDIENCES: Duplicate Project with NYC-147570 PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Duplicate Project with NYC-147570

Smallidge, Peter
Cornell University
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