One of the most critical challenges facing America’s forests today is changing forestland use and ownership. In this activity, students will research forest ownership in the United States, will interview forest landowners about changes they have experienced, and will analyze scenarios to learn about the complexities of intergenerational forestland transfer.
This is one of 9 activities that can be found in PLT’s Exploring Environmental Issues: Focus on Forests module. To get the activity, attend a training and receive PLT’s Focus on Forests secondary module. Below are some supporting resources for this activity.
Download the copyright free student pages that are included with this activity:
Forest Owner Interview
The Changing Family Forest
Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:
Energy and Democracy
Listen to Energy Democracy, a 30-minute podcast from Infinite Earth Academy with Dr. Denise Fairchild, president and CEO of Emerald Cities Collaborative, a national nonprofit organization of business, labor, and community groups dedicated to climate resilience strategies that produce environmental, economic, and equity outcomes. Fairchild discusses the connection between race and energy and the impact of major environmental disasters, extreme weather, and pollution experienced by low income people. Use it to spark a discussion with students in 9th grade and above about our environment, the economy, climate change, and social justice.
Forest Atlas of the US
The US Forest Service created a complete Forest Atlas of the United States. It covers everything from tree pollen count to owl habitats to agroforestry practices, using a range of the Forest Service’s resources. Use this in your classroom to give your students a comprehensive understanding of what American forests have to offer!
How Would You Manage The Forest?
Help your students understand the delicate balance between human activity, climate change, and forest animals. This Minnesota Star Tribune article discusses the decline of the moose population. It includes a simple activity for students to explore the complex relationship among different animals and their forest ecosystems. Can you manage the forest for the benefit of one species? Get your students to answer this question for themselves as they learn how animals are connected to each other and the place they live.
Discover the Forest
A program of the Ad Council and U.S. Forest Service, Discover the Forest offers resources that help families discover nearby forests and provides tips on how to prepare for and enjoy outdoor adventures.
Leafsnap is a free app that can be downloaded onto the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (Andriod version in development). Leafsnap uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from individual leaf photographs you take in the field. This application contains high-resolution images of bark, flowers, fruit, seeds, and more. Currently Leafsnap specializes in tree species found in the Northeastern United States, but expansion to include all US regions is underway.
Bryce Canyon Electronic Field Trip
Take an electronic field trip inside Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park. During this live, one-hour podcast, students will learn about the importance of the park, hunt for signs of land and aquatic dinosaurs, explore “hoodoos” (unique limestone formations), and see animals that live in this extreme environment.
A free app that can be downloaded onto Apple and Android devices. AllTrails helps users to get out and discover the outdoors. Use it to plan a national park visit, find a hiking path near home, or map a new trail of your own! AllTrails can help you find local places to run, hike, bike, fish, and more in the outdoors. You can even upload photos and images to trails you create.
A free app that can be downloaded onto Apple or Android devices. This is a good tool for teachers and classrooms. Easily create bar, line and pie charts that you can customize, save and e-mail or upload. The charts you create can be saved using multiple color schemes and in multiple sizes. The app also works without an internet connection.
EPA’s new EnviroAtlas tool is designed to help communities and researchers make informed planning and policy decisions related to the environment and ecosystems. EnviroAtlas provides datasets and interactive tools to allow users to explore the many benefits people receive from nature, often referred to as ecosystem services. EnviroAtlas includes over 300 data layers, letting users analyze how decisions affect ecosystems and their ability to provide goods and services. Key components include: