Extension Wildlife & Fisheries Specialists Conferences


Date of this Version

June 1996


Published in W. Daniel Edge, ed. Proceedings of the 8th National Extension Wildlife and Fisheries Specialists Workshop: Educational Challenges for the 21st Century. [1996] Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University, 1998.


One certainty these days is that public policy will continue to shape the future of forestry. We foresters seem to take what's served up, wishing we had more influence on the ingredients and how they are prepared. We need to assert more leadership in providing forestry knowledge to citizens and decision-makers. However, information delivery is not enough; we need to be involved in the process of policy as well as its content. Technical information and good science will not prevail on their own. We don't have to push a particular option to be effective. We can use our skills and enthusiasm to present a perspective, a process, or the issue itself.

Our technical skills and science are important, but we must interpret them to the public and decision-makers. If we don't do a good job of providing "knowledge services," citizens and decision-makers will develop judgments without us, and perhaps without the necessary technical or scientific information. Here are some tips for making the most of our communication efforts.