Worksheet 4 Interview: Student Directions

Interview a Tree Farmer or Private Forestland Owner

Imagine you are the town historian at the local town library and your job is to write a Forestland History essay on a local tree farm in your state. In order to complete this task you will need to interview a local Tree Farmer or Private Forestland Owner in your area. After conducting this interview you will then write your short historical essay on this person and their land. If you prefer to create a documentary film, or record an oral history, you may also do that.

What information should you gather? You should pick 8 of the following questions you would like to use for your interview. Then add 2 or 3 of your own additional questions (that are of interest to you or that you would like answered).

  • How long have you or family owned this land?
  • What do you do with this land (use it for timber? Development? recreation?)
  • Do you know the land use history of this property? What did the previous owners do with this land? Or what did your ancestors do with this land?
  • Who owned this forest before you?
  • How do you maintain the forest land? (Do you get help from a state forester, your State Forestry Association, or your local Tree Farm Association?)
  • How are your actions creating a sustainable forest?
  • What is your biggest concern with regards to your land (i.e. wildfire, insects, invasive species, Endangered Species Act, trespassers, taxes)? Why is that a concern?
  • What do you hope for the future of your land? (Do you want it to be passed down to your children? Do you hope to sell it?)
  • Who makes the decisions for managing this land?

To find a local Tree Farmer in your area contact:

  • The head of the state committee of the American Tree Farming System programs in your state.
  • The Society of American Foresters’ Certified Forester Program to “search online” for a forester who could help you locate a local forestland owner.
  • The Association of Consulting Foresters (ACF) may be able to help you find a local forestland owner in your area.
  • Your Local State Forester, to help find a local tree farmer or private forestland owner in your area.
  • You may do an internet search to locate a State Forestry Association in your state; by contacting your local State Forestry Association they too may help you find a local private forestland
  • owner. They may also be able to answer specific questions about private forestlands in your state.