||United States Department of
|| Cooperative State
and Extension Service
October 16, 2003
Professor Bruce Lippke
Director, Rural Technology Initiative
College of Forest Resources
123 A Anderson, Box 352100
Seattle, WA 98 195-2 100
Dear Professor Lippke:
Enclosed are three bound copies of the final report of the Cooperative
State Research, Education, and Extension Service's (CSREES) program
review of the Rural Technology Initiative (RTI) at the University
of Washington/Washington State University. This report represents
the aggregate input and view of the Review Team and is consistent
with the oral exit report. An additional, unbound copy of the report
is provided for your convenience. I hope the recommendations and
discussions contained in this report will be useful as you deliberate
the future of the RTI.
CSREES would like to have a response to this report approximately
one year after the review. The post-review response should describe
the extent to which the review process and team recommendations
have been of value to enhancing the excellence of the RTI. Also,
it would be helpful to CSREES if you would identify specific positive
outcomes or changes which were implemented because of this review.
While I recognize that it may be impractical to implement all recommendations,
it will be useful to have your comments as we evaluate the impact
of CSREES activities, particularly leadership for on-site institutional
CSREES and the Review Team compliment you, other RTI administrators,
University of Washington and Washington State University faculty,
staff, and students for their cooperation and hospitality while
they were on campus. The Review Team was appreciative of the excellent
preparation for the review. It was evident that significant effort
was invested in the review preparation and this investment was highly
Most importantly, the Review Team was respectful and complimentary
of the open candor established for the review. That candor set the
stage for frank discussions throughout the review and, as a result,
we believe the review to have been an open and honest process.
Professor Bruce Lippke
Should you have questions or comments please feel free to contact
Daniel E. Kugler
Natural Resources and Environment
cc: Dr. Keith Blatner
Dr. Donald Hanley
Mr. Charles Krebs
The Rural Technology Initiative
College of Forest Resources
University of Washington
Cooperative State Research, Education,
and Extension Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The review of the Rural Technology Initiative (RTI) at the University
of Washington was conducted at the invitation of the administration
of the College of Forest Resources, University of Washington (UW)
and the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State
University (WSU). The review was requested for the purpose of gaining
external insight and input to the operation of the RTI and to address
the sustainability of the RTI. It is anticipated that the review
team's report identifying strengths, challenges, and recommendations
will receive strong consideration by RTI Administrators (UW and
WSU) in addressing changes to the mission, goals, and objectives
identified in various planning documents.
The Review Team used challenges, issues, and resource needs identified
by RTI administrators, faculty, other departmental leaders, cooperators
and stakeholders to complete this report. Responses to the review
charge and in the September 16 - 19,2003 meetings with UW and WSU
administration are incorporated in this report. Information regarding
academic policy, political insights, and administrative overview
at the opening of the review process was critical to the work of
the Review Team.
Based on their professional disciplinary experience, credibility,
knowledge and familiarity with research, education, and outreach
programs in university systems, and with the USDA Forest Service's
programs and funding authorities the Universities in cooperation
with USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension
Service selected the following professionals to conduct this comprehensive
|Mr. Mike Barsotti
Forestry Assistance Program
Oregon Department of Forestry
2600 State Street
Salem, Oregon 973 10
|Mr. Larry Biles, Team Leader
Forestry Program Leader
USDA - CSREES
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Mail Stop 2210
Washington, DC 20250 - 2210
|Dr. Steven Daniels, Director
Western Rural Development Center
Utah State University
8335 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-8335
|Dr. James Finley
Extension Forestry Program Leader
The Pennsylvania State University
7 Ferguson Building
University Park, PA 16802-4302
|Mr. John Gorman
Simpson Resource Company
1301 5' Avenue, Suite 2800
Seattle, WA 98l01-26l3
|Ms. Robin Morgan
Asst. Director, Forest Management
USDA - Forest Service
11 Campus Boulevard, Suite 200
New Town Square, PA 19073
The Review Team sincerely appreciated the enthusiastic support
of the administration, faculty, project staff, cooperators and stakeholders
of the College of Forestry at the University of Washington and the
School of Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University
before and during this review. Without such support, assistance,
interest, candor, and leadership it would have been impossible to
provide this review report in a timely and orderly fashion. Special
thanks go to RTI Director, Professor Bruce Lippke, RTI Principal
Investigator, Dr. Donald Hanley, and RTI Staff Assistant, Ms. Nicole
Stevens for their leadership in organizing and providing coordination
for this review, and the cordial reception and assistance provided
to the review team throughout the review process.
Reasons for the Review -The review
of the RTI was prompted by the Universities' desire to have persons
external to the operation examine the project for purposes of positioning
the RTI to become even more valuable to the residents and natural
resources of the State. Washington State's demographic, social,
political, and economic conditions pose significant challenges for
landowners, rural communities, higher education, and rural and urban
natural resources. Consequently, this review of the RTI is timely
and is anticipated to be valuable as the Universities continue to
provide academic services to the citizens of Washington, the nation,
and the world.
Review Objectives -The Review Team's
charge, as expressed by the Universities, was to assess and provide
comments central to the following issues:
- Has RTI made major contributions towards providing usable technology
to rural forest managers?
- The degree to which these accomplishments are unique?
- Whether this model is appropriate to a broader regional constituency?
- What might be the best future alternatives including considerations
for greater efficiency
To address the review objectives the following essential questions
- Is the RTI program having a substantial positive impact on technology
transfer to the benefit of forest-based rural communities and
- Does RTI's innovative approach to technology transfer result
in new opportunities for integration of economic and environmental
goals into forest management, processing, and environmental protection
- Was this impact unique to the existence/approach of RTI and
would not likely have occurred otherwise?
If the answers are yes:
- Is the model appropriate to a broader regional constituency
And if so, a broadening of the Universities involved? (Potentially
OSU, UI, UM?)
- How should it be funded to offer financial stability?
If the answers are negative or qualified:
- What are the lessons learned and how can they be applied to
benefit rural communities
The Review Team was highly complimentary of many facets of the
RTI. First and foremost was the speed in which the RTI transitioned
from a concept to a productive reality. Second was the speed in
which the RTI began generating and transferring credible science-based
forestry and other natural resources technology to a broad constituency.
Third was the breadth of scientific technology in the RTI portfolio.
Included in the mix is information pertinent to region specific
forest growth and yield models, road layout and design including
culvert selection and location, riparian area management, fire prevention
thinnings, and non-industrial forest land owner - alternative management
plan options for compliance with state forest and fish rules. Other
commendations were the collegial spirit in the RTI leadership and
faculty, the ability to leverage other fiscal resources in support
of the RTI, their contemporary web page and fact sheets, and the
overwhelming testimony by core constituents that "THE RTI OFFERS
HOPE to long-term nonindustrial forest land management."
RTI focuses on forests, especially those forests held by small
forest landowners. These owners, an estimated 90,000, collectively
control approximately 4.2 million acres, principally at lower elevations.
These forests contribute significantly to myriad forest related
values, such as fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, aesthetics,
timber supply, and recreation.
The RTI has a commendable record of productivity in meeting the
needs of the private forest landowners, particularly in light of
its recent formation. The stakeholder/constituents interviewed by
the Review Team were universally enthusiastic about the level of
innovation used by RTI to develop training aids and subsequently
take science to stakeholders. They commented positively on the timeliness,
quality, support, training, and topical emphases. They felt that
RTI was perhaps the only organization that was using cutting edge
technologies to demonstrate the impact of regulatory decisions on
the profitability of forestland management. Moreover, they felt
that RTI was unequaled in outreach activities from academic institution
Since the essence of this project is technology transfer, it is
crucial that the RTI staff remain vigilant to their outreach activities.
This will likely require diligence against the dominant incentive
of research universities to encourage people to make new models
and approaches, while implicitly assuming that end users can somehow
fend for themselves and successfully access and interpret the information
they need to make informed decisions. For research faculty there
is comparatively little prestige and reward in squeezing the last
bit of technology transfer out of existing knowledge. But the benefit
to land owners and rural communities comes more from effective technology
transfer rather than from the continuous development of new models
or the development of new theories. In short, it is technology transfer/extension
that Congress has funded and this inherently requires an end user/customer-centered
In summary, it appears that the RTI program is addressing contemporary
forest management issues and is working well with many stakeholders.
The program has apparently been effective in reaching many of the
private forest owners, especially those who some might classify
as innovators and early adopters. Understanding the audiences RTI
serves strengthens the prioritization of projects, increases the
value of the outputs and buys support for the process.
Interviews with advisory committee members, family forest landowners,
landowner organizations, foresters working with woodland owners,
and staff members of elected officials consistently praised RTI
for the quality, effectiveness, and timeliness of the products developed.
Products that addressed the impacts of state forest practice regulations
were most often mentioned as having an immediate and significant
benefit to landowners in the management of their properties.
- There is clear evidence that RTI delivers diverse programs,
modifies programs to meet specific program needs, and cooperates
in solving technology issues encountered in using their products.
- The RTI staff recognizes the importance to share their products
more broadly and is evaluating approaches for sharing their
work in neighboring states.
- The Initiative serves to enhance collaborative and cooperative
relationships between the University of Washington and Washington
State University research, extension, and administrative staffs.
- Offering technology transfer tools such as the Landscape Management
System (LMS) (cutting edge technology, at a number of different
levels: silvicultural modeling, visualization techniques, non-timber
benefits modules, etc.) and other models at no charge to interested
users has greatly expanded the implementation of the LMS and
stimulated local economies in impacted areas.
- The reach of program delivery is greatly enhanced by linking
with other educational institutions elsewhere in the region
and across the country, and demonstrates the efficacy of the
RTI as an effective pilot project.
- Establishing an educational network with community colleges
and Resource Conservation and Economic Development Districts
(RC&EDDs) extends the outreach to an audience that would
most likely not otherwise be reached.
- Competencies and expertise of faculty and staff at UW and
WSU attracts willing partners throughout academia as well as
high caliber students. Today's students are tomorrow's leaders,
and recent graduates have already become an effective part of
the delivery mechanism in critical areas of technology development
- RTI collaborates closely with industrial and non-industrial
forest landowner organizations.
- Through a customer oriented business focus the RTI is responsive
to advisory committee priorities.
- The RTI program delivers information on appropriate subjects,
identified from input from its advisory board and selected users
of their products. Program content addresses riparian forest
management, wildlife habitat, forest management approaches including
forest thinning, fire risk assessment, regeneration, and insects
- The RTI Web page is notably better than many university-produced
- RTI is uniquely well situated to assist landowners through
the alternative planning templates project. The templates may
benefit a tremendous number of landowners and maintain the economic
viability of forest management thereby mitigating the incentive
for conversion of forestland, and the resulting loss of ecological
- The impact that RTI had on the Road Maintenance and Abandonment
Plan (RMAP) regulatory process has demonstrated that timely
research-based analysis of regulatory impacts can have a constructive
influence. This episode is a clear demonstration of the positive
impact of the overall RTI strategy.
- The commitment to communicating the forest's importance to
the social fabric of rural and urban communities warrants increased
emphasis. This includes describing how communities benefit from
the maintenance of healthy productive forests and the value
of working together to solve local issues including larger landscape
issues related to forest use and maintenance.
- There is not a clear effort conveying the roles that parcelization
and fragmentation play in decreasing the economic and ecological
potential of private forests. The program appears to focus more
on the individual ownerships and not the sum of the parts. This
message is particularly important to engaging the broader public
to gain their support for maintaining working forests across
- RTI may be "overshooting" part of the RTI audience
through overly sophisticated technological approaches. The universe
of private landowners is very diverse, and their needs range
from quite basic to quite sophisticated. RTI should use variable
delivery technologies to meet the needs of a broad spectrum
of users, and continuously evaluate the effectiveness of these
applied technologies. Adjust as appropriate.
- Increase your reliance on the cooperative extension network
by providing new science in a format that they can easily incorporate
into contemporary programs.
- Strengthen relationships with Washington DNR (e.g., the use
of science-based technology to direct riparian work on the Peninsula).
DNR staff can provide a large technology transfer body to engage
more potential users. Having DNR, the single largest forest
owner in the state, using RTI technology would foster broader
acceptance. Simultaneously, this would strengthen partnerships
that might lead to other fiscal resources.
- Develop a strategy for getting and retaining university and
extension commitment to incorporate the RTI into routine academic
business (research, teaching and extension activities).
Technology transfer is central to the RTI mission, serving as the
conduit for conveying science-based information to identified users,
principally those owners of rural and urban associated forestlands.
RTI has used state of the art technology to construct models and
communication options for conveying information to a suite of end
users on ecological and economic values, as well as the important
contributions privately owned forests make to the social fiber of
the state. While technology has been central to their efforts, they
have been innovative in their approaches, using many new and existing
venues to deliver their products. Evidence of their use of diverse
approaches includes newsletters, training programs, partner institutions
and agencies, computer visualization models, and web-based educational
The RTI, in part, built on the efforts of others at the UW by developing
and delivering training for the Landscape Management System (LMS).
In this fashion, they used LMS to address priority issues, and provide
feedback on ways to improve it. In addition, the RTI developed a
family forest landowner database needed to better understand the
role these landowners play in managing the state's forests. The
landowner database project proved to be very difficult but worthwhile.
As county assessor's offices develop Geographic Information System
data, RTI will further refine the database.
Additionally, RTI developed products that demonstrated the economic
impacts that regulations are having on the state's smaller acreage
owners. This material has been effective in altering RMAP requirements,
and developing templates for riparian area alternate plans. Moreover,
RTI provided several products dealing with how the state Forest
Practice Act impacts family forest landowners. Included therein
is information on reducing forest fuels in forests susceptible to
catastrophic wildfires, carbon sequestration, economic analysis
of various forest management strategies, and improving the value
of growing and harvesting special forest products. RTI also developed
a website that supports its mission of providing information to
- The development of the small forest landowner database provides
opportunities for identifying the distribution of private ownerships,
potential impacts on diverse forest values, and quantifying
the threats of forest parcelization and fragmentation.
- The RTI program provides a diverse set of tools for conveying
management information and the merits of forest planning to
small woodland owners and can make the linkages of these ownerships
to larger landscape scale issues.
- The RTI program clearly offers approaches for assessing the
contributions of private forests to the state's economy and
- The importance of providing science-based information through
diverse approaches to guide the development of forest related
policy is fully recognized by the RTI program staff and stakeholders.
- RTI has been very good at producing and marketing resource
material (e.g. publications, training materials, newsletters,
fact sheets, professional society presentations, and a first
rate web page). For the latter, user analysis confirms that
the website has been found and used, and is serving as a feedback
loop to the RTI project team.
- There is clear evidence that RTI has developed a diverse set
of partners to deliver their products. The most obvious are:
Washington State University Cooperative Extension, community
colleges, tribal governments, Conservation Districts, and RC
& EDD's. Moreover, there is clear evidence that programs
are reaching and being implemented by private forest owners,
forestry consultants, agencies, tribes, and others working directly
with private owners.
- Many RTI program elements were described as effective in addressing
private forest issues. Among these were the contributions to
the coached plan initiative, alternative plans, culvert placement,
RAMP, and the Forest and Fish Agreement.
- RTI developed some partnerships outside their state. Among
these are colleges and universities in other states, forest
resource consultants, agencies, and others.
- To foster the use of their products, RTI has willingly included
growth and yield models for other regions, and helped "troubleshoot"
problems described by those outside their state.
- RTI has not fully embraced education delivery models that
would use train-the-trainers to fully support product delivery.
- The Review Team recommends that RTI consider ways to more
actively convey to owners and community members the roles that
private lands play in ecosystem function. This is particularly
important since an objective is to describe the impacts of parcelization
and fragmentation. RTI's efforts to reflect the amount and location
of parcelization could be effective at fostering public discussions
about the impacts these actions have on the sustainability of
the state's forest and the array of the values they provide.
- The Review Team recommends the development of resource and
media materials that consider a more holistic approach (ecological,
economic, and social). Such a move would likely be seen as more
inclusive and may translate into broader program support.
- The Review Team encourages RTI to more fully consider train-the-trainer
approaches for leveraging their program. This approach empowers
others to effectively assist in outreach responsibilities and
it help build a cadre of disciples for the science and the technology.
Some potential partners are WSU extension, WA's Department of
Natural Resources (DNR), WA's Soil and Water Conservation Districts
(SWCDs), USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS),
community colleges, and Non-Government Organization resource
- The Review Team recommends the development of pilot programs
for stakeholders not contacted through recent efforts (e.g.,
conservancies, environmental organizations, the public, non-government
organizations (NGOs), etc.). These programs would showcase the
science behind the educational materials used to help small
forest landowners comply with the plethora of natural resource
rules and regulations.
- The Review Team recommends that RTI periodically submit its
publication manuscripts and other communication products to
outside review by educators working with individuals in selected
- Explore ways to use the mailing lists of landowners, perhaps
in a small, targeted region, to increase awareness and use of
RTI resources. This may mean partnering more closely with DNR,
since they currently control these lists. The Review Team recognizes
that the counties extracted a promise not to contact these owners;
however, it might be possible to use the information to develop
target media materials to gain access to owners if permission
to use the lists remains as a block.
LONG-TERM PROGRAMMATIC SUSTAINABILITY
The Review Team identified funding program evaluation, and the
use and composition of the advisory board as important elements
to the long-term sustainability of the RTI. The urgency of the first
element, funding, has been somewhat tempered as it was understood
that RTI is a five year pilot. This assumption has proven true to
this point, however, year five looms immediately ahead, and no permanent
source of funding has been secured. The other two issues, evaluation
and board composition, are more latent to start up projects and
thus their timing is just reaching a period of high relevance. In
the Review Team's view, satisfactory resolution of these three issues
is paramount and must be aggressively addressed before the end of
- RTI was developed with strong political support and initial
funding for a five-year pilot program.
- RTI has actively leveraged their funds to attract supplemental
- RTI has strategically allocated funds to projects valued by
- Fiscal efficiencies have accrued through the judicious and
effective use of graduate students.
- University support is demonstrated by a low overhead assessment
of less than 15%.
- The past and current responsiveness of RTI beneficiaries to
champion RTI values to Congress and other stakeholders has helped
retain the original funding source and may be useful for garnering
new sources of funding.
- The heavy reliance on one principal source of funding, a congressional
earmark with an uncertain future and subject to shifts of political
priorities, places an important body of work at risk.
- Without the stability of long-term funding, it may be difficult
to attract and retain high caliber faculty and staff.
- Without federal funds, it appears that the ability to deliver
RTI would end.
- There are no apparent existing or expected sources of state
funding for RTI.
- In order to sustain the Initiative, the Review Team recommends
RTI supporters initiate an aggressive and entrepreneurial search
for external funding. Working with beneficiary partners, seek
both eastern and western Washington sources for outside funding
to ensure long-term funding stability. Consider the creation
of an endowment fund with financial support from non-profit
organizations and the private sector. An immediate priority
should be given to this effort to ensure continuity should Congressional
- Ensure that funded activities are consistent with the Federal
- Provide a solid base of information that may be used by advocates
in support of long-term funding established in the state budget.
The history of the emergence of the RTI would seem to diminish
the importance of a needs assessment at the outset of the program.
The process of generating the initial Congressional support for
the initiative would apparently validate the importance of the needs
that the program is intended to address. Nevertheless, two things
argue for a continual commitment to a rigorous needs assessment.
First, the Congressional support is more likely to focus at the
level of vision and mission than at the tactical/output level. Additional
rigor and on-going grounding in the specific needs of rural landowners
can only help to fine tune the programmatic focus. Second, the passage
of time inevitably ensures that the issues facing private forest
landowners have evolved since the RTI's initiation, and will continue
to change for as long as the program exists. A continuously adapting
strategy that can address new opportunities while remaining true
to the , program's mandate and vision would seem essential, and
indeed the RTI staff appears fully cognizant of that need. This
process of adaptive change should be informed by a rigorous and
systematic understanding of landowner issues, needs, and aspirations.
Conduct systematic impact evaluation
The RTI staff is encouraged to be creative in designing and implementing
an impact evaluation system. To the extent that RTI programs are
designed to meet particular needs, those programs should be evaluated
in terms of meeting them. Technology transfer is not complete until
the technology has been applied, and the value of the transfer is
the positive impact that the application generates. The ability
to "sell" RTI to Congress, to the Washington legislature,
to UW/WSU administrators, to programmatic partners, or to private
donors will depend in large measure on the ability to document the
tangible impacts that the program has either generated or is positioned
to generate. In tight budget times, every program competes on its
merits, and evaluation is the foundation for documenting that merit.
In its early years, RTI represents potential much more than accomplishment.
Several of the stakeholders interviewed by the Review Team felt
that RTI is on the cusp of significant progress (with the planning
templates most often mentioned.) The Review Team shares their sense
of high expectation because the RTI team appears deeply committed
to producing meaningful results. Nevertheless, a long-term programmatic
commitment to evaluation reflects a commitment to see projects through
to their ultimate conclusion. The kinds of stories that stakeholders
told the Review Team convinced them that RTI is uniquely well positioned
to generate significant benefits on behalf of the citizens of Washington.
RTI should invest the time and resources to ensure that the evaluation
information includes not only these stories but also more systematic
measures of impact.
The Review Team recognizes that it is difficult to develop meaningful
evaluation metrics that are simultaneously rigorous but not unduly
burdensome or arbitrary. This is doubly difficult in forestry, where
the effects of land management activities typically take decades
to manifest. But evaluation should not be ignored merely because
it cannot be perfect. The RTI staff has been innovative in solving
a number of technological and organizational challenges; there is
no doubt that their solutions to developing a meaningful evaluation
framework would be any less so.
In summary, all programs should be evaluated, but pilot projects-such
as this one-should place particular emphasis on evaluation because
they are designed to be learning endeavors. Their learning benefit
should accrue not only to their direct participants and constituents,
but to the larger professional/policy community as well.
- RTI has not developed a systematic framework for evaluating
their education programs, the application of their technology,
nor program impacts.
- Effective education programs must include evaluation activities
to document short and long-term impacts.
RTI does not have a systematic approach for gauging the technological
constraints on the effective use of their products by various
stakeholders. Issues might include reading levels, use of jargon,
and learning styles.
- It is important that RTI develop tools for gauging program
impacts. The Review Team recommends that RTI develop standardized
tools for evaluating individual programs and to conduct follow-up
evaluations to learn more about the use of the new technologies.
It is unnecessary to contact all participants, but it is important
to develop a workable approach noting that qualitative data
is as important and potentially more powerful than quantitative
data. The Review Team recommends working with an evaluator to
explore an appropriate workable approach.
The RTI Advisory Board functions as an advisory structure and a
quasi-needs assessment structure. In that role, they provide both
direction and feedback to the RTI staff. Since the RTI relies almost
exclusively on the Advisory Board for these functions, the composition
of the Advisory Board becomes critical. In view of that, it is important
that the Advisory Board include stakeholders who have not been connected
with the program or who might even have some level of opposition
to it. While that may make the Board's deliberations on project
priorities more contentious, the benefits may well outweigh the
- The Advisory Board represents a coalition of influential players
in forest/land use policy in Washington State.
- The existing Advisory Board was instrumental in garnering
the current federal fiscal grant.
The current Advisory Board formulated the technology and outreach
priorities that fostered the existing reputation.
- The existing Advisory Board is focusing on rural forest landowner
and rural community interests and problems.
- The existing Advisory Board has a spirit of collegiality and
- The existing Advisory Board does not represent the full spectrum
of rural forest landowner nor does it contain people who are
unaware of or unconnected with the programs of the University
of Washington and Washington State University.
- Programs are addressing the needs of only a small segment
of the private forest landowner community. There is a need to
describe and then to reach those landowners not currently aware
and/or availing themselves of RTI programs.
- RTI has had a clear focus on those clientele directly engaged
in private forest management and issues. However, they may have
not considered the potential benefits of broadening audiences
to include other stakeholders (e.g., community planners, conservancies,
- RTI has by design not worked with some stakeholder groups
(e.g., conservancies, environmental organizations, NGOs). These
audiences are stakeholders and it is important to explore the
use of RTI programs to gain their support. Failure to do so
may prove counterproductive, especially if they perceive that
RTI programs affect policy in ways they deem inappropriate.
- Expand the Advisory Board to include a more comprehensive
range of viewpoints within the rural forest community.
- RTI has been very effective in using its Advisory Board to
establish priorities for developing products as reflected in
the Board's support for RTI and its products. Adding members
that share interest in the long-term sustainability of family
forestlands can further strengthen support for RTI efforts,
assure precision of the annual priority ranking of projects,
and increase awareness of the role family forest landowners
play in managing the state's natural resources. Adding a public
official or other individual who can represent the general public
and/or a member of an environmental organization are possible
opportunities to strengthen board direction.
- Expand the Advisory Board to include a current or past prominent
elected official to represent public interests, and an environmental
organization representative to expand the list of priority projects
and strengthen support of its efforts.
- To reach forest owners who are not innovators or early adopters,
the Review Team recommends using approaches to identify landowners
who are unaware of RTI programs or who are unwilling to attend
current learning opportunities. This might include developing
media releases, conducting direct mail campaigns, promoting
the use of their website, or other innovative approaches, perhaps,
in targeted geographic areas or communities.
Based on the Review Team's exposure to RTI, the Review Team is
able to affirm that the RTI has made major contributions toward
providing usable technology to rural forest managers. Numerous testimonies
boasted of the services and knowledge rendered to them by the RTI
program. Additionally, many of the stakeholders reported that the
material and knowledge provided to them was cutting edge and would
not have been available under conventional university and other
outreach structures. They also reported that the material was applicable
to a regional and possibly national constituency.
Regarding greater efficiency and outreach, the stakeholder's referenced
engaging distance learning technologies, additional community college
partnerships, and expanded services from extension agents, DNR foresters
and conservation commissions.
Finally, after careful review of materials provided in advance
of and during the review, and
conversations with RTI staff, partners and stakeholders, the Review
Team is able to affirm:
- That the RTI is having a positive impact on technology transfer
to the benefit of forest-based rural communities and tribes.
- That RTI's approach to technology transfer does result in
new opportunities for integration of economic and environmental
goals into forest management, and environmental protection strategies.
- That RTI does provide a unique technology transfer approach,
culture, and style and that RTI's impact would not likely have
occurred in existing delivery structures.
Moreover, the Review Team is able to affirm that the RTI model
does have application to a broader geographic structure but only
if a more permanent source of funding can be obtained. In that regard,
the Review Team encourages the RTI to simultaneously work on endowments,
other sources of local funding and expanded partnerships. And finally,
the Review Team encourages diligence. The RTI has a receptive, dependent
audience and they are fully expecting you to help them remain viable.
Mr. Bruce Lippke, Director, RTI
Dr. Keith Blatner, Chair Natural Resource Sciences, WSU
Dr. Donald Hanley, Co-PI, WSU (housed at UW)
Dr. David Baumgartner, Extension Forester, WSU
Mr. Larry Mason, RTI Program Coordinator
Mr. Karl Denison, RTI Program Liaison, USDA-Forest Service
Mr. Charles Krebs, Regional Director, USDA - Forest Service Cooperative
Dr. David Thorud, Provost, UW
Mr. Luke Rogers, RTI Scientist
Dr. Jon Johnson, WSU
Mr. Rick Dunning, WA Farm Forestry Association
Mr. Steve Stinson, WA DNR - Small Forest Landowner Office
Mr. Pete Heide, WA Forest Protection Association
Mr. Dave Swietzer, WA Hardwoods Commission
Mr. Rod Fleck, Attorney, City of Forks, WA
Mr. Bob Playfair, WA Farm Forestry Association
Ms. Shelly Short, State Staff for Congressman George Nethercutt
Mr. Gerry Dixon, Forester, Quinault Indian Nation
Mr. Frank Gladics, Staff, Senate Energy and Resource Committee,
Mr. Peter Greissman, Extension Forester, WSU
Mr. Jerry Smith, Columbia-Pacific RC&EDD, Montesano, WA
Dr. Steve West, Wildlife Professor and Associate Dean, UW
Mr. Jim Carter, Land Management System Director, UW
Ms. Elaine Oneil, Graduate Student, UW
Mr. Jason Cross, Olympic Natural Resource Center Director
Dr. David Briggs, Director - Stand Management Cooperative, UW
Mr. Daniel Underwood, Professor - Peninsula Community College
Mr. Will Hamilton, Consulting Forester