Small-Scale Forestry Issues Are Focus of International Conference at UMass Amherst, Sept. 24-27

AMHERST, Mass. – More than 80 specialists from 18 countries will convene Sept. 24-27 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to share research results, identify future research themes and discuss solutions inherent to small-scale forests and forestry.

From urbanization to wildfires to global climate change, the world is facing unprecedented challenges to the sustainable stewardship of its forests. Now, more than ever, society needs solutions that can help mitigate or avoid the threats facing forests. In many parts of the world such as Massachusetts, extensive forested landscapes have been divided up into numerous small ownerships, and this small-scale ownership phenomenon introduces unique constraints and considerations for conservation and management. Most, if not all, of the challenges have a human component and people, especially those who own or manage the resource, will need to be part of the solution. This conference will focus on the special issues facing small-scale forests around the world and the solutions to these problems that can benefit landowners, society, and the natural environment.

“From Science to Solutions: Solving Small-scale Forestry Issues” is hosted by the Family Forest Research Center, a joint venture between the USDA Forest Service and UMass Amherst. The program will examine aspects of small-scale forestry from the tropics of Malaysia, Indonesia and Hawaii; mountains of Nepal; northern latitudes of Finland and Sweden; European forests of Germany, Latvia and Estonia; other countries such as Japan, Israel and Ireland; as well as eastern Canadian provinces and the United States.

Keynote speakers include: James Hubbard, USDA Forest Service state and private forestry deputy chief, Jerry Greenberg, senior vice president for conservation at the American Forest Foundation, and Tom Doak, executive director of the Small Woodland Owners of Maine.

In addition to more than 60 technical presentations, the conference includes an afternoon field trip to view examples of small-scale forestry and a visit to the Harvard Forest in Petersham. The conference is preceded by a two-day technical workshop on social network analysis and its applications to forestry, led by Ryan Acton of the UMass Amherst department of sociology.

The conference is sponsored by the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station and State and Private Forestry program; American Forest Foundation; University of Maine, International Union of Forest Research Organizations and UMass Amherst.

For more information, see the conference website http://iufrossf2012.org/ or contact conference co-chairs: David Kittredge, 413/545-2943, dbk@eco.umass.edu, and Brett Butler, 413/545-1387, bbutler01@fs.fed.us.