2L – Education and Outreach
Implement educational programs to provide greater understanding of watersheds, and to raise awareness and increase the use of applicable forestry management measures and practices where needed to control and prevent adverse impacts on surface and ground waters. Public education, outreach, and training programs should involve user groups and the community.
Education and training are vital to effective management practice implementation. Educating and training loggers and landowners about the importance and use of management practices is an effective way to reduce water quality effects from forest operations because harvesters and landowners are responsible for forest harvesting and decisions concerning the management of much of the forested land in the nation.
These programs are based on the premise that it is important to teach forest ecology and silviculture to loggers because professional foresters supervise less than a third of all the acres harvested in the United States while loggers are involved in all of the harvests. Before these programs existed, few people employed in logging had training in forestry and silviculture, and the logger education programs are changing that situation. To accomplish its goal, logger training emphasizes five areas–safety and first aid, business management, harvesting operations, professionalism, and forest ecology and silviculture (USEPA, 2002).
- California Forest Stewardship Program is designed to encourage good stewardship of private forestland. This State government program provides technical and financial assistance to influence positive changes to forest land management, assists communities in solving common watershed problems, and helps landowners in a number of ways. For assistance, call the Forest Stewardship Helpline (Telephone: 1-800-PET-TREE).
- Forestry Institute for Teachers this program educates K-12 teachers about how ecosystems and their management affect the needs of both rural and urban citizens about water, wildlife, recreation, biological diversity, habitat protection, and consumer products derived from forests. Teachers who participate in the program are able to share their understanding of forest ecology and natural resource management principles and concepts with their students.
- Northern California Society of American Foresters this organization provides forums for professional development and community outreach.
- Southern California Society of American Foresters this organization provides forums for professional development and community outreach.
- University of Wisconsin Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, Best Education Practices Project helps natural resource management and outreach professionals to choose appropriate education techniques and resources for their water management programs. The Best Education Practices project will work in collaboration with the federal agency clean and safe water partnership and other networks to develop and promote best education practices for water education and to improve access to education resources and strategies. Project activities reflect advice provided by federal agency clean and safe water partners and a national network of water education organizations created and supported by the work of several national organizations over the last decade. Projects have included a 2002 Study of Provider Needs, Model Education Technique, a literature search, Best Education Practices Pilot Web site, and other reference materials related to water outreach education.
- USEPA Watershed Academy offers 50 self-paced training modules that represent a basic and broad introduction to the watershed management field. The module themes include introduction/overview, watershed ecology, watershed change, analysis and planning, management practices, and community/social/water law. Two forestry-related modules are available: "Forestry Best Management Practices in Watersheds" and "Applying Ecological Principles to Management of the U.S. National Forests".
USEPA. 2002. National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Forestry. Pre-Final Draft. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, Washington, DC.