Texas Forest Expo 07 Job # 5285

Job Posting Details

Job # 5285 Texas Forest Expo 07

Posted Date
Oct 30, 2007 @ 22:22
Respond By
Oct 31, 2007
Word Count
English (North American)
Age Range

Job Description

This VO is to be used to promote the Texas Forest Expo.

----- Texas Forest Expo 07 -----

Just when we thought there was no new territory in Texas to discover, a new land has emerged, and along with it a new type of landowner. The urban wildland interface, where urban development meets untamed, wild land, is springing up all over Texas, resulting in challenges for new UWI landowners as well as Texas Forest Service, the agency responsible for protecting and conserving the state’s trees and forests.

TFS Role
The new UWI territory is populated by home, land and business owners many of whom typically have not owned forestland before. And, it is the responsibility of the Texas Forest Service to reach out to these landowners living, working and growing in the urban wildland interface and offer nearly a century of expertise in forest, land and natural resource management.

Of particular concern is the more than 15,000 miles of urban-rural interface and the population of 5.6 million people in Southeast Texas - identified by the Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment as one of the highest risk regions for wildfire in the state.

Changing Roles
Not only are we experiencing new landowners and new challenges in the interface, we also recognize the need to find new ways to communicate with citizens and across interagency programs. Texas Forest Service, proud of its longstanding history of meeting face-to-face with individual landowners, is challenged to find ways to impact larger groups of people at a time.

In an effort to communicate with citizens who own forests and wooded acres in the Southeast Texas region, Texas Forest Service held an Expo and teaching institute. These events were held to teach and inform land and homeowners about new and innovative ways to protect their families, properties and communities from wildfire as well as sustain their forests, trees and natural resources in a healthy manner for themselves and future generations to come.

Funded primarily by a grant from the USDA Forest Service, this two-day educational and family fun event was designed by TFS to bring together the stakeholders in the Houston region who: drive forest fragmentation and land use changes or work in organizations that do; own forested or wooded land; or others who may be impacted by the effects of these changes.

The EXPO focuses on giving home and landowners hands-on guidelines to manage their property and make informed development decisions that are responsible and sustainable for Texas.

Expo Details
Putting on the Texas Forest EXPO was a major undertaking requiring much planning, preparation, cooperation between programs and offices, and coordination of resources at an estimated cost of $28,500.

The Institute
Texas Forest INSTITUTE was a professional development series for community leaders, natural resource professionals, emergency responders and public workers which offered solutions to the increasingly complex challenges associated with the urban-rural interface.

Texas Forest INSTITUTE offered two distinct professional development tracts:

Emerging issues in the urban-rural interface (for civic decision-makers, urban & rural planners, emergency responders and developers)

Ground maintenance and tree care (for public works and parks departments, grounds & maintenance crews, arborists and general tree care specialists)

Challenges / opportunities
Although a similar event was held October of 2006, the Family Forest Field Day on the Jones State Forest in Conroe, the EXPO was a first-of-its-kind event for TFS. Organizers wanted to remove the “bad weather” factor of an outdoor event and the lack of parking at the forest, as well as grow the event reaching not only forest landowners, but homeowners as well. Texas Forest EXPO was held at an indoor convention center in Conroe, a convenient location with plenty of space, parking and room for outdoor exhibits.

No matter how much work went into developing the event or how beneficial the information and resources made available to landowners, it would be all for naught if no one attended. The planning committee had to find a way to spread the word like – well – like wildfire!

Sponsors / USDA
Although most of the seed money to create and implement EXPO came from a Hurricane Rita supplemental grant from the USDA Forest Service, additional funding came from various businesses and organizations wishing to partner with Texas Forest Service in protecting and sustaining healthy Texas forests.

Participating in Texas Forest EXPO allowed businesses and organizations to reach their audience in one day, in a convenient venue, hopefully resulting in increased business potential.

Wrap up
The concept of changing roles stresses that in order to be efficient and effective, natural resource professionals must understand the needs, motivations and concerns of interface landowners. The Texas Forest EXPO is just one of many innovative and collaborative efforts by the dedicated employees of Texas Forest Service to step up to another level of professional excellence as they serve the people of Texas.

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