Foresters for the Birds
Forestry with birds in mind
In response to declines in songbird populations in New England, Audubon Vermont and Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation launched Foresters for the Birds, a program that promotes forest stewardship to enhance bird habitat. The success of the program is the integration of silviculture with songbird habitat enhancement. The Foresters for the Birds program provides forest stewards with tools for effectively communicating with landowners about the benefits of managing forests with bird habitat in mind. Essentially, Foresters for the Birds “lets the birds tell the story about how forests can benefit from thoughtful management,” engaging woodland owners in a positive manner to take stewardship steps on their property.
The Forestry for Birds programs are built on partnerships among landowners, academics, foresters, non-profit agencies, and government agencies on local, regional, and national levels. The program is voluntary, and allows landowners to draw on the parts of the program that work for them.
The Forest Stewards Guild has helped to develop the program in Maine (Forestry for Maine Birds) and is further expanding and adapting the framework to the Southeast, Lake States, and now the Pacific Northwest (PNW). Each region has distinct interests and opportunities reflected in the partnerships, forest types, and bird species. Many foundational elements are shared by all programs including educational workshops that bring landowners and professionals together to share knowledge about the program and how can it can be applied, as well as pocket field guides, online resources, and demonstration sites that help to illustrate program content.
The goals of the program are to:
- Encourage forest health through the enhancement of bird habitat to keep common birds common
- Promote the connection between bird habitat and working woodlands
- Collaborate and support others to bring Foresters for the Birds across the landscape
- Working with biologists and conservationists to identify habitat and silvicultural recommendations for at-risk bird species and bird species with populations in decline
- Hosting educational workshops that engage the network of foresters, woodland owners, tree farmers, land trusts, and conservation organizations in promoting the connection between bird habitat and working woodlands.
- Maine Coast Heritage Trust webinar for land trusts
- Forestry for Maine Birds Webinar
- Foresters for the Birds Webinar
- Video shorts introducing Forestry for Maine Birds (bottom of the linked page).
- July 9, 2021 - Foresters for the Birds, OR
- June 19, 2021 - Foresters for Maine Birds Workshop
- Corvallis Region Demo at McDonald-Dunn Forest, Oregon, 2019
- Audubon Vermont
- Vermont Dept of Forests, Parks and Recreation
- Maine Audubon
- Maine Forest Service
- Mass Audubon
- New York Audubon
- Audubon Connecticut
- Audubon North Carolina
- Audubon South Carolina
- Oregon Community Foundation
- Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District
- Audubon Pennsylvania
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