Every day, landowners are making decisions about how to manage their land and what to do with their land when they pass on. Many landowners are making these decisions without the benefit of knowing all their options. These decisions not only affect the landowners and their family, but are shaping the landscapes within your community.
As a municipal official, you can play a very important role in reaching landowners in your community since you know the landowners and the decisions they are facing. Winter in New England is a great time to get neighbors together and provide them the information they need to make a decision that meets their needs and, often, those of their community.
There are many ways to reach landowners. The Forest Resources Education for Municipal Officials (FREMO) page on MassWoods has a few examples. Listed next to each of these examples is a municipal official who organized the event. Each of these folks has agreed to answer questions about how they went about reaching landowners in their community. No one knows the challenges and opportunities of a municipal official like another municipal official, so go ahead and contact them!
In addition, UMass offers ‘Woods Forum’ programs that you can also consider hosting. You would be responsible for reserving the location and doing the marketing necessary to get landowners to the program. We would come and deliver this program which centers on landowner decisions regarding forest management and land protection. The Woods Forum program includes a facilitated discussion where landowners can ask their questions and hear not only from professionals, but from their neighbors about their own experiences. This spring we are available for 2-4 of these programs. Contact us if you are interested.
So, put on some coffee, put out some warm apple pies, and help your neighbor make an informed decision, a decision that is also shaping your community’s character.