Inside the Source: WoodsCamp
September 30, 2019
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WoodsCamp: American Forest Foundation Reaches Out to Landowners
By Steve Wilent
The American Forest Foundation (AFF) is well known for its efforts to reach out to family forest landowners, with the main goal of helping them manage their forests well. AFF’s My Land Plan website, for example, helps landowners create forest-management plans and obtain advice from professional foresters (mylandplan.org). Another avenue to connect with landowners, called WoodsCamp, is a free Web-based tool that helps landowners learn about programs, services, and professionals who can help them care for their land (woodscamp.com).
On the WoodsCamp website, landowner can navigate to a map showing the boundaries of their property, then click “See What You’ve Got.” Within a few seconds, a second screen with “Wow, you have a beautiful forest” at the top displays a chart showing the tree species growing on the property. In this example, a parcel near Grass Valley, California, the chart indicated 60 percent ponderosa pine–Douglas fir stands, 39 percent Douglas-fir, and one percent “assorted species.” Next, a landowner answers a few questions about his or her goals for the property and submits a request for a report. Within a few minutes, in most cases, a brief report is e-mailed to the landowner, providing information about management opportunities available on the parcel (such as restoring key tree species or protecting fish or wildlife habitat), how to contact a forester and obtain other services, and becoming a member of the American Tree Farm System. If landowners have questions about their report, they can connect with WoodsCamp staff via e-mail, phone, or Facebook’s Messenger service.
WoodsCamp is available in four states: Alabama, Wisconsin, Oregon, and California (at this writing, for nine counties in the Sierra Nevada). AFF plans to make WoodsCamp available in other states in the near future.
In addition to promoting good forest stewardship, WoodsCamp helps landowners in each state address issues relevant to their location.