Fostering adaptation by changing landowners' knowledge framework - responses to extension education in northwest Washington State, USA.
Landscape urbanization and fragmentation, spread of invasive pests, biodiversity loss, social value changes, and loss of manufacturing infrastructure are some of the changing ecological, economic and environmental framework conditions facing small-scale forest owners in northwest Washington State, USA. To successfully adapt to these changes, landowners' knowledge framework must change. Washington State University Extension has been offering comprehensive, multi-week training courses for small-scale forest owners. From 2008-2013, participants were surveyed at the conclusion of the training, one year following the training, and again at three years following the training. These follow-up surveys demonstrate a progression from knowledge change to behaviour (management) change and, ultimately, to condition change. Condition changes included increased wildlife diversity, decreased invasive species cover, and increased economic sustainability. The results demonstrate that changing a landowner's knowledge framework through education is a highly-effective approach for helping them successfully adapt to changing external framework conditions.