Kylie Clay Attends 2023 US Forestry Research and Development Priorities Summit in Washington, D.C.
Co-hosted by the Society of American Foresters and US Endowment for Forests and Communities, the Summit reviewed findings from the 2020 virtual summit, analyzed the 2023 national survey, and gathered feedback from attendees, constituents, and members.
Kylie Clay, FCCP Associate Director, attended the 2023 Forestry Research and Development Priorities Summit in Washington, D.C. in early June. Co-hosted by the Society of American Foresters and US Endowment for Forests and Communities, forestry experts and professionals gathered to discuss top US forest research and communications priorities, as well as strategize solutions for efficient, effective, and impactful collaborations going forward.
The Summit focused on approaches to identifying top forestry problems and needs, including increasing frequency and severity of wildfires, climate change adaptation, watershed management, improved forest inventory and analysis data, and wood use innovations. There was general consensus regarding the importance of applied research that seeks to identify and solve current foresters’ and forests problems on the ground.
While opportunities exist, the Summit states, “A major limitation to solving the highest-priority problems facing forest managers has been the steady erosion of the capacity and practical relevance of forest research over the past several decades.” There has been a notable trend of diminishing forest research funding, in particular, over past decades, during a time when the importance of forests to mitigating climate change is of growing concern and interest. Summit participants will engage in continued conversations about how to be more impactful with current resources as well as how to better communicate to policymakers and the general public the importance of forests for constituents and climate.
Stemming from the research summit and previous surveys of forestry researchers and professionals, next steps include:
- Building a consortium of forest management and research organizations to facilitate collaborations and collective communications efforts
- Conducting a more comprehensive survey on forest management problems and research needs, reaching broader and more diverse forest stakeholders