The Family Forest Research Center (FFRC)
is a collaborative effort between the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Environmental Conservation. The goal of the FFRC is to conduct relevant research that helps understand the social and economic dimensions of family forestry in order to promote sustainable forest management that meets the current and future needs of landowners, communities, and society.
In particular, the objectives of the FFRC are to:
- Conduct primary research on the attitudes, behaviors, needs, concerns, and demographics of family forest owners across the country
- Continue administering the National Woodland Owner Survey (NWOS) – the official census of forest owners in the United States
- Partner with other researchers to foster a deeper understanding of family forest owners, the forces affecting them, and their influences on the forest ecosystem and society
- Disseminate the results of the research and facilitate informed forest program design and policy making.
The FFRC hosted the 2012 International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Small-scale forestry conference. More than 90 specialists from 18 different countries convened at UMass Amherst in late September to share research results, identify future research themes, and discuss solutions inherent to small scale forests and forestry that can benefit landowners, society, and the global environment.
Keynote speakers included: James Hubbard, USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry Deputy Chief; Jerry Greenberg, American Forest Foundation Senior Vice President for Conservation; and Tom Doak, Small Woodland Owners of Maine Executive Director. In addition to over 60 technical presentations, the conference included an afternoon field trip to visit examples of small scale forestry, as well as a visit to the Harvard Forest.