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Fish, forestry and more in new natural resources magazine posted on 09/01/2021

Years ago, Mountain resident Steve Wilent attended a joint workshop that featured different forestry and wildlife groups from Oregon and Washington. In some meetings, they listened to presentations on managing wildlife and forestry.

“We have a lot in common,” Wilent said. “I thought a magazine that could bring out that same kind of info sharing, technique sharing and support would go over well.”

Last month, Wilent published the first edition of that magazine, “Natural Resources Management Today.” The free monthly release includes insights and updates on fish, forests, range, wildlife and water, and will also venture into a variety of other topics, such as wildland fire, carbon sequestration and markets, ecosystem services, GIS and remote sensing, natural resources management education, recreation, urban parks and green spaces.

Wilent, who served as the editor of the monthly newspaper of the Society of American Foresters, called “The Forestry Source,” from 2004 until this year and as a forestry and natural resources instructor at Mt. Hood Community College since 1996, noted there hasn’t been a publication that offers crossover opportunities for these various fields and the number of people who could be interested in it is large. There are more than 250,000 natural resource management professionals in the U.S., plus approximately 119,000 students at more than 1,000 institutions of higher learning within the field. And there’s more by adding professionals in Mexico and Canada to the tally, plus any landowners and other stakeholders who may be interested in these topics.

The inaugural edition includes stories on private forests, the pressure of a growing population on southern timberland owners, technological innovation in fighting wildfires, a student profile (a feature that will be in every edition) and more.

Wilent, who is also a former publisher of The Mountain Times, noted that the reaction to his first edition has been positive, but he’s not looking to rest on his laurels.

“I want to know how it can be made better,” he said. “I invite that kind of feedback from readers, with the goal of making it a better newsletter.”

Wilent added that wildfire coverage will be a continuous thread throughout the magazine, thanks to the topic involving more than just forests.

“That’s an important topic for the nation,” he said, “It’s a huge topic that will be covered to some degree in just about every edition.”

He also hopes to have more coverage on technology, specifically drones, which are used in a wide range of natural resource management areas, such as stream surveys, vegetation and fish habitat and more.

“Instead of having a crew walk up the stream, they get all this data and more,” Wilent said. “You still need to have people in the woods, but the drone is a tool that helps capture a great area.”

The magazine will also give back to the natural resource management community through a $2,000 scholarship, open to students enrolled in 2022 in undergraduate and master’s in natural resources degree programs. And at some point down the road, Wilent also hopes to offer an internship program.

“That’s a priority for me, get students involved,” he said.

"Natural Resources Management Today" is free and can be viewed as a PDF by registering at https://nrmtoday.com/.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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