2020 journal article
Educating Landowners on Forest-Based Alternative Income Streams in North Carolina: Program Evaluation and Lessons Learned
JOURNAL OF FORESTRY, 118(6), 551–554.
Abstract Forest-based payments for ecosystem services markets have grown considerably in recent years. Besides timber products from harvests, forests offer multiple nontimber and intrinsic benefits, which could be important sources of income for landowners. In summer 2019, we organized four region-specific educational workshops all across North Carolina to educate landowners, Extension agents, and natural resource professionals about these alternative forest-based income streams. In this article, we cover the topics included in those workshops, postworkshop evaluation, and lessons learned from those events, which provide useful insights for Extension and outreach professionals in program design and delivery in forest-based payments for ecosystem service markets. Study Implications This article presents the details of a program, postworkshop evaluation, and lessons learned, which serve as useful guidelines for Extension and outreach educators in designing and delivering similar programs in forest-based alternative income streams. Although markets for ecosystem services are improving worldwide along with increasing research and outreach efforts in forest-based intrinsic benefits, results from evaluation surveys suggest that attendees had limited knowledge in forest carbon markets, wetland mitigation banking, and conservation easements in North Carolina. More region-specific Extension and outreach programs highlighting the locally available nontimber market options are recommended all across the country. Similarly, partnerships with other state agencies and institutions in program planning, advertisement, and delivery would improve effectiveness of similar Extension and outreach programs.