Change in forest planner's advisory role

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Abstract:

Urbanisation and related lifestyle changes, as well as the opportunities offered by new information and communication technology, are altering decision-making among family forest owners. Consequently, the approaches and tools of communicating with forest owners are under pressure towards becoming more customer-orientated. The present study looks at forestry advisory practices connected with forest management planning using the theory base and methods of activity theory and the active involvement of practical forestry professionals. Collaborative developmental meetings with a group of foresters were conducted in three organisations. A total of 22 sessions were held within separate developmental projects. Tacit knowledge and good communication practices were observed among the foresters involved in this. New flexible service models and improvements to current service chains were designed and experimented to support forest owners in their forest management activity. Analysis of experiences suggests adjusting forestry advisory practitioners’ roles. A more meaningful customer-compatible role of the forest planner fostering the planner's work-related well-being could include two sub-roles: a mediator is sensitive to the owner's needs and wishes and s/he informs the owner about the forest holding and its various long-term opportunities and an activator, in turn, supports the realisation of the suggested operations in the forest holding.

Keywords: Developmental work research; extension; facilitated modelling; family forest owners; forest management planning

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02827581.2011.579996

Affiliations: 1: School of Renewable Natural Resources,Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Oulu, Finland 2: Finnish Forest Research Institute, Joensuu, Finland

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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