Forest science in the South: Summary of accomplishments for fiscal year 2007


greatest good for the 21st century…pioneering forestry research on emerging societal changes

The magnitude and pace of the social changes underway are unprecedented and are predicted to continue, perhaps even accelerate. Societal changes lead to trends in how people view natural lands, thereby impacting policy and management decisions. New approaches will be needed to sustain both the ecological condition and the benefits society wants from natural lands.

Perhaps one of the most significant emerging changes in our society is the “disconnect” between people and nature. This trend has been well documented for children, although few studies have identified reasons why children may be more or less active outdoors. The Station is launching a collaborative national study that will focus on identifying specific factors contributing to a decline in outdoor activities by young people aged 6 to 19.

With an estimated 81.4 million Americans participating annually, birding is an activity that cuts across all of society, connecting people to nature. In fact, SRS scientists believe birding, which includes observing, studying, photographing, and identifying wild birds, may lead to more conservation-oriented behavior. The Station, in cooperation with multiple State and Federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations, has launched a national study to identify correlations between birders, environmental awareness, and natural resource conservation.