Grant Opportunity: The Electronic Commons: a community led natural resource knowledge portal

Grant Opportunity: The Electronic Commons: a community led natural resource knowledge portal

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Funding is intended to stimulate projects that will utilize advanced communications technologies (e.g. web pages, videoconferencing, video streaming, chat rooms, etc) to share information and solutions on topics of concern to national forests and their neighboring communities. Of particular interest are projects which link geographically disparate national forest communities in the 32 state eastern hardwood region (for example, linking a community in Wisconsin that has a natural resource problem with a community in Georgia that has a solution).

The Electronic Commons: a community led natural resource knowledge portal

Northern Initiatives, in cooperation with the Wood Education and Resource Center of the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry announces the availability of funds to support community projects in natural resource training, applied research, technology demonstration, and conservation education. Funding is intended to stimulateprojects that will utilize advanced communications technologies (e.g. web pages, videoconferencing, video streaming, chat rooms, etc) to share information and solutions on topics of concern to national forests and their neighboring communities. Of particular interest are projects which link geographically disparate national forest communities in the 32 state eastern hardwood region (for example, linking a community in Wisconsin that has a natural resource problem with a community in Georgia that has a solution).

Funding is intended to assist communities in the implementation of projects that address:

  • Forest resources and ecology,
  • Wood utilization,
  • Natural resources management, or
  • Natural resource based sustainable community/economic development

Project funds could, for example, be utilized to support information sharing amongst communities regarding such subjects as:

  • Stewardship Contracting - Stewardship contracting is a way for local businesses and individuals to benefit from the contracting of forest management activities on national forests. Project funds could be utilized to develop a videoconference for communities located near national forests throughout the eastern hardwood region explaining the process of becoming involved in stewardship contracting on the national forests.
  • Invasive Species - One of the consequences of our increasingly globalized society is the spread of invasive plants, insects, and animals. A series of virtual seminars delivered via video streaming could be developed on specific invasive species describing why they are a problem, what can be done to control them, and how landowners can help.
  • National Forest Planning – National forest planning can have a significant impact on the quality of life experienced in the local area. A website could be developed describing innovative forest plans that have been developed and how this planning has positively impacted local communities.
  • Forest Service/Community Partnerships - A training program could be developed and delivered using videoconferencing which highlights innovative Forest Service and community partnerships and shares information on the genesis and implementation of these partnerships.
  • Training Seminars - Training seminars could be developed and delivered using advanced communication technologies on a variety of topics of interest to national forests and the communities which surround them.
  • Healthy Forest Initiative and Healthy Forest Restoration Act Implementation - Successful implementation of these initiatives can have positive impacts of communities. A videoconference which demonstrates the development of cooperative HFI and/or HFRA projects ( http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/healthyforests/sect1.html - 25.8K or www.FS.Fed.US/projects/HFI/) could be developed.
  • Conservation Education - Place-based conservation education, which is relevant to the local community and which assists communities in the understanding of national forest issues, can foster improved national forest/community relations. A website which demonstrates or serves as a template for the development of such a program could be developed.

These are only few examples of the types of projects which could be developed. National forests, communities and organizations are encouraged to look for innovative ways which advanced communication technologies can be used to share information across the 32 state eastern hardwood region.

Northern Initiatives expects to make 8 to 10 grants averaging $25,000 each. Forest service personnel at both the regional and forest level will actively work with communities in the development and implementation of projects.

Eligible grantees include local governments and territories, federally recognized tribes, non-profit organizations, individuals and small businesses within the 32 state eastern hardwood region

 

For more information visit http://www.niupnorth.org/electroniccommons.htm

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