The silviculture institute : an assessment of impact Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/j38609696

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  • The goal of this study was to determine the extent to which the Silviculture Institute, a 12-week continuing education program for mid-career silviculturists, has influenced the practice of silviculture in the Pacific Northwest. Desired impacts were determined in conjunction with the three major stakeholders in the Institute: program leaders charged with running the program, participants who have attended the program, and supervisors responsible for monitoring silvicultural practices in the Pacific Northwest. Two mail surveys were administered: one to all silviculturists who completed the Institute during its first 10 years, and the other to all USDA Forest Service District Rangers and BU' Area Managers in the Pacific Northwest. Fixed-response questions were used to look for seven major impacts identified by program leaders and others, while open-ended questions were used to look for unanticipated impacts. Response rates were very high: 82 per cent for the Supervisor Survey and 88 per cent for the Participant Survey. Responses from the two groups were similar to one another throughout the survey. Seven major impacts identified at the beginning of the study appear to have occurred at a significant level. Relatively few meaningful differences were noted in the responses of various sub-groups within the two survey populations. Participants and supervisors were asked seven openended questions intended to let them express their thoughts about the Institute in their own words. Again, the response was high. Both groups noted many positive impacts of the Institute--on those who have participated in it, on the organizations for which they have worked, and on silviculture in general. Examples were given of significant economic returns resulting from the Institute. Increased stress on silviculturists was one important negative impact experienced by those who have attended the Institute. Organizational inertia was identified as the principal factor limiting the impact of the Institute. Although many respondents expressed strong support for the Institute, many also recommended ways to improve its effectiveness. Finally, the silvicultural certification process used by Region 6 of the USDA Forest Service received significant criticism, along with many suggestions for improvements.
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