Finding effective ways to provide knowledge to forest managers about non-timber forest products: a case-study of distance learning approachesThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Many who grow or collect non-timber forest products (NTFPs) have been under-served in traditional forestry educational programs. It has often been difficult to determine the needs of this disparate group of stakeholders as collectors and growers are widely dispersed across the landscape, and not recognized as important stakeholders in formal cost forest management or forest products outreach programs. In most cases they may not attend or participate in traditional forestry education programs. Forest managers and extension agents, who serve this clientele, lack information and knowledge concerning NTFPs and are challenged to serve these stakeholders’ needs. Distance learning methods may be an efficient and low cost way to teach collectors, growers and the extension agents that serve this group of stakeholders about how to manage and utilize NTFPs in a sustainable way. We examine, here, distance learning methods such as two-way television (video conferencing) and on-line courses to determine if they are appropriate for training those who harvest and utilize NTFPs.