Northeastern U.S. forests are predominantly owned by people identifying as intrinsically linked to their land. Yet, with many privately-owned forests, management often occurs without the oversight of a trained forester. This disconnect is often due to landowners’ and foresters’ mismatched relational expectations within their interactions. Consequently, landowners turn to known others, less likely to have training in forestry, to share experience and knowledge situated in a connection forged by shared perspectives. To understand these communicative differences and landowner experiences, this study explored landowner-advisor interactions for elements that led to learning and collaborative connections. Interviews with landowners revealed their intense value for creating interpersonal relationships with advisors. These relationships were gateways to learning and action. Findings highlight the importance of intentional relationship cultivation as vital for natural resource management, detailing the value of peer networks and expansion of collaborative natural resource management discourse to the realm of private forests.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science