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Community-Owned Forests Library

About Community Forests
Background information and reports on community forests
Community-Owned Forests Resources
Case studies, governance models and website links for community and tribal forests
Community-Owned Forests Conference
Presentations from conference held June 2005
Engaging the Community
Resources for successful community involvement
Timberland Ownership
Reports on changes and trends in forest ownership
Community Forest News
News articles on community forests and timberlands
Planning and Management
How-to publications and examples of forest management plans
Management Issues
Information and reports on conservation easements, timber sales, wood energy and other forest management issues
Monitoring and Evaluation
Resources for developing management indicators and evaluation plans

Engaging the Community

Choices and Challenges in Town Forest Management
Report from a Community Forest Workshop. Gorham, New Hampshire. National Community Forestry Research Center. September 13, 2003.
This workshop examined:
• How to engage a community in planning for its town-owned forests;
• How citizens can influence decision-making with respect to the use of town forests;
• Options for how to use town-owned forest resources;
• Challenges in management and use of town-owned forests;
• Strategies and resources for overcoming these challenges;
• Setting community-wide goals for managing town-owned forest resources; and
• Questions and lessons to share with other towns.

Citizen's Handbook: a guide to building community
From the Vancouver Community Network
A guide to organizing for community building projects through citizen action, including getting started, planning and acting, evaluating, getting and keeping people involved, meeting, facilitating, and strategic thinking.

Community Toolbox
From the National Park Service
Guidelines for all aspects of organizing around a community project, including decision making, event planning, meetings, facilitation, communication, organizing,  outreach and information gathering. Specific sections include setting goals and priorities, writing press releases, holding workshops and charettes, group mapping and stakeholder analysis.

Community Toolbox
From the University of Kansas
A large and comprehensive resource of free information on essential skills for building healthy communities. Topics covered include community assessment, promoting community interest, strategic planning, leadership development, coalition building, community organizing, and managing financial resources. Troubleshooting guide provides advice and support for overcoming common problems in community planning and action.

Community Visioning and Strategic Planning Handbook
The National Civic League, 2000
A 62-page guide to developing a vision for your community, including getting the process started, community outreach, defining the current community realities, assessing community capacity, developing a community vision and action planning and implementation.

Engaging Residents in Planning for Municipal Forests: A Case Study of Lincoln, Vermont
National Community Forestry Research Center. 2003.
The story of Lincoln, Vermont demonstrates how a small, rural town can engage its residents in planning for town-owned forests. This study illustrates the steps that can be taken to involve local residents in an effort to determine appropriate priorities for use of town forests. It also shows some of the obstacles a small community needs to overcome in attempting to bring its residents together to discuss municipal forests.

Instigate: An online toolkit for community mobilization
From Transforming Communities
A series of short guides to setting up an action team and mobilizing your community.

Know Your Watershed: A Guide for Watershed Partnerships
Purdue University, Conservation Technology Information Center
A set of guides for planning and organizing around watershed improvement, but useful for  community forest projects as well. Topics include:

USDA Guides to Rural Development
Guide to Strategic Planning for Rural Communities
From USDA Rural Development Office of Community Development
A guide for planning for change to help rural communities create a vision for their future, identify things that are preventing change and opportunities to move forward, and deciding what actions are needed to make the vision a reality.
Guide to Implementation and Benchmarking for Rural Communities
Leads communities through the process of creating a work program, choosing performance measures and evaluating progress toward the goals of a strategic plan.
Funding for this project provided by the Ford Foundation and the Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation.
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