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2022-2024 STRATEGIC PLAN
2022-2024 STRATEGIC PLAN
The plan that follows lays out five targets for the coming years and the pathways we will follow to achieve them. Click here to read a note by our Board Chair and Executive Director about the formation of the plan.
Demonstrate to landowners in Washington and Oregon the value of managing to Forest Stewardship Council® standards or higher.
Increase education and outreach about the benefits of ecological forestry among forest owners, wood buyers, and forest enthusiasts.
Increase the number of forest practitioners using ecological forestry techniques in western Washington.
NNRG helps landowners practice ecological forestry on their lands—teaching workshops, writing management plans, and overseeing harvest operations. We have forged relationships with NGOs and local government partners who promote our offerings. Even so, many potential clients are unaware of our work and don’t realize the potential productivity of ecological forestry. When we reach new audiences, we find deep veins of untapped demand for our services.
We’ll build on our experience to further refine our practices of logging, forest restoration, and forest planning.
We’ll create and publish resources such as videos, pamphlets, and guidebooks to help forest stewards understand the benefits of thinning, extended rotations, and other ecological forestry practices.
We’ll bring into our network other service providers with a track record of high-quality, light-touch forest management and seek ways to bolster the viability of their operations.
We’ll create and publish resources such as videos and guidebooks to help forest stewards adapt their practices to be more resilient in the face of climate change.
We’ll use interpretive materials and tours to educate landowners, policy makers, and partners about the economic and ecological outcomes that this approach to forestry can accomplish. We’ll also collect and analyze data about harvests and forest growth.
Although Forest Stewardship Council® certification was established more than 25 years ago, it has yet to make significant inroads into the Pacific Northwest marketplace. Participants in NNRG’s 198,000-acre group certificate harvest 6 to 10 million board-feet annually, but on average, only 8 percent of those logs are sold as certified, making it hard to realize an economic benefit from certification. In partnership with other groups in the regional forest products ecosystem, NNRG will seek greater market recognition for the practice of ecological forestry, both within FSC and beyond.
Many landowners believe that ecological forestry would require them to forgo a disproportionate share of their potential returns. We will publish the research we have conducted, which dispelled that assumption by compiling data from dozens of harvests that meet FSC standards.
Increasing transparency by mapping FSC-certified forests will highlight sources of supply and help the public to understand the distribution and scale of FSC-certified forests.
We will work to expand existing relationships with FSC log and pulp buyers and identify potential partners who are purchasing FSC wood products in the Pacific Northwest.
NNRG’s management practices may align well with Local, Fair Trade, Salmon Safe, Carbon Neutral, Climate-Smart, and other designations. These designations have the potential to increase the market value of their timber.
To accomplish our mission, we need to spread the word about ecological forestry to prospective landowner clients, to wood buyers and sellers, and to the general public. Each of those audiences will be captivated by different aspects of our story. We need to pay systematic attention to the way each of those audiences is touched by our narrative.
We’ll author a book on ecological forest management in the Pacific Northwest that serves as a how-to guide for forest owners and managers and also orients the general public to ecological forestry.
We’ll develop and disseminate materials—in print, online, and at point of sale—that tell the story of ecological forestry and explain why wood from responsibly-managed sources is superior.
By tracking the viewing and downloading of digital materials, we have ascertained a growth of 30 percent in our online engagement with web, newsletter, and social media contacts over the next three years.
We will evaluate and explain the role ecological forestry can play in increasing carbon sequestration and reducing the embodied carbon of new construction. We’ll also highlight the value of ecological forestry techniques in promoting climate adaptation and resiliency.
We’ll cultivate relationships with educators at all levels, and showcase the benefits of ecological forestry to the next generation of foresters and forest stewards.
It takes more than broad outreach to shift the management of forests in an ecological direction. Fostering changes in behavior will require a symphony of approaches: peer-to-peer education, outreach across the boundaries of professional disciplines, technical assistance, and direct provision of professional services. To advance toward this target, we will use all of those.
We will draw on our staff and membership to provide best-in-class guidance and resources, host in-person events to foster community, recognize leaders in the field, and provide digital forums to connect practitioners with one another.
We’ll connect landowners in the same landscape by providing geographically specific forums to encourage passive
landowners to become more active.
Some forest owners will be moved to action by the availability of trusted professionals to create new management plans and oversee forest stewardship actions. We will work with landowners to help them realize their ecological forestry intentions, specializing in family forests, land trusts, youth camps, and tribal and municipal forests.
We’ll increase the recognition among forestry professionals in western Washington that ecological forest practices are a way to restore forests that had been subject to industrial management.
While forests are top of mind for us, they are just a small though salient part of the work done by people in related fields, such as architecture, geology, hydrology, and reserve management. We will create professional development opportunities that bring the insights of ecological forestry to practitioners in those specialties.
The Pacific Northwest’s working forests will always need thoughtful, long-term management, regardless of the ebb and flow of institutional support for NNRG. To make sure we can help landowners steward well and can enable citizens to understand ecological forestry, NNRG aims to build a secure financial base for our work. We will cultivate a wide variety of income streams, marked by an increased reliance on program service revenue.
Larger forests (several hundred acres or more) tend to bring with them a year-in, year-out need for forestry services, which will contribute to NNRG’s stable baseline income.
Some forestland owners cannot rely upon family heirs to continue their stewardship legacy. We will expand our work in this area through outreach to estate attorneys and estate planners, and by helping establish other ways for forest owners to dedicate their land to charitable causes beyond NNRG.
These firms can benefit from association with NNRG’s brand and exposure to our network; NNRG can benefit from a new model for financial support.
Through dedicated solicitations, we have raised enough money to pay for the cost of research and writing even before completing the manuscript.
When we began creating the plan that will guide NNRG from 2022 to 2024, Covid-19 vaccination had just opened to the general public, and we glowed with the anticipation that in-person gatherings would soon become routine. Instead, in light of the Delta variant, we re-adjusted to work together by phone and video chat. Now, as we publish this framework in early 2022, we are preparing for our first in-person board-staff meeting in 27 months.
The last two pandemic years have called upon wellsprings of adaptability that will soon be needed for Northwest forests as well. As the climate shifts toward warmer, drier summers and less mid-elevation snow, forest stewards will need to be alert to predicted and unforeseen changes alike, and be nimble on our feet to respond. This plan reflects those ideas, with climate adaptation a consideration in two of our main targets.
In other ways, too, we have built adaptively on our 2018-2021 plan, to amplify what is working and test new strategies that round out our toolkit. The plan that follows lays out five targets for the coming years and the pathways we will follow to achieve them. The NNRG board and staff invite you to join us on this journey to benefit Northwest forests and communities, for generations to come.