Members of the North American Forest Partnership, a diverse group of individuals, companies, state agencies, the U.S. Forest Service, non-profits and professional organizations committed to the management of sustainable, healthy forests, launched a first-of-its-kind communications effort – Walk in the Woods. The effort tells the stories of the men and women who work in the forest sector in the U.S. and Canada and opens a dialogue about the important work they do as caretakers of precious forest resources.
“We’re inviting those outside our sector to walk in the woods with us and learn about our work as responsible, innovative stewards of North America’s many different forests,” said Will Novy-Hildesley, Executive Director, North American Forest Partnership. “Our goal is to engage those passionate about the future of our forests in an ongoing conversation and provide honest answers to the questions we know people have about what we do and why we do it.”
The initiative is born from research which studied the attitudes and perceptions of North America’s forest resources. The research uncovered differences in understanding among the forest sector and the public around key topics such as deforestation, forest management and the sustainability of forest resources.
“We learned that while people care deeply about forests, they often come to a conversation about what happens in them with only part of the story. This notion of a ‘Walk in the Woods’ is a way to explore the ‘why’ behind what happens in the forest and build a broader understanding for the many important roles that forests play in our everyday lives,” said Colin Moseley, Chairman of the Board, North American Forest Partnership and chairman of Green Diamond Resource Company. “That’s why it’s critically important that we come together to communicate our work and the social, environmental and economic values that forests provide.”
NAFP represents a diverse community with shared values and unwavering passion for the forest stewardship. NAFP members come from across the forest sector to engage in real conversations – both online and offline – that will shape the future of North America’s forests.
“We have many forests. Protected ones, intensively managed ones, firs, hardwoods and pines,” said Tom Martin, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the American Forest Foundation. “All of them produce incredible benefits, individually and collectively, for all of us in the form of clean water, clean air, wildlife habitat, good paying rural jobs and a quiet place to reflect. Those benefits, these values, bind the forest sector.”
“Now more than ever, it is important to demonstrate how choices we make today impact the future of our forests,” said Katie Fernholz, Executive Director, Dovetail Partners. “We’re excited about this partnership and the diverse community it includes, all of whom share a commitment to the future of forests and a shared ethic of responsible stewardship.”
“When people appreciate all the benefits we receive from forests,” said Rebecca Barnard, National Forestry Programs Manager at the National Wild Turkey Federation, “they understand the importance of keeping forests as forests. When we recognize and value the diverse benefits our forests provide, including wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities, we will wisely manage and conserve our forests for future generations.”
More information is available at www.walkinthewoodswith.us, and by following Walk In the Woods on Facebook and Twitter.