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Yaffle.ca is Memorial's online connecting tool. One of its most significant jobs is to provide a way for people from inside and outside Memorial to ask for research help. With hundreds of community-suggested opportunities to choose from, your next project is just a click away. Here's one . . .


Dr. Erin Kelly

By Rebecca Cohoe

The opportunity:
Forestry industry closures, along with labour market challenges, are creating a challenging situation for many communities along this province's west coast. According to Dr. Erin Kelly, a post-doctoral fellow in the environmental policy institute, Grenfell Campus, a more community integrated approach to forest management could help.

"Community forestry refers to an arrangement where communities have control over forest planning and also derive the benefits," explained Dr. Kelly. "It doesn't have to mean ownership of the forest, but communities would have more input and more responsibility in the management of the resources and use of local forests."

While closures and labour crunches have the potential to be viewed as problematic, Dr. Kelly believes they also present opportunity. "There are plenty of new avenues to explore" she said. "Tourism, recreation, non-timber forestry products -- we need to give community members the chance to try new things."

The project:
Dr. Kelly is looking for researchers who are interested in working on community forestry projects. "I want to give community forestry related research a focal point," she said. "I'm open to all kinds of different research from people who have worked in the region."

She's also interested in connecting with researchers with a background or interest in subsistence use of the forest from a rural Newfoundland and Labrador perspective: hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and other non-forestry related uses of the forest.

"My interest is in finding ways to help rural communities survive. There are a lot of negative stories about rural communities, so it's easy to focus on problems; however, there are some great opportunities too. We just need to take some risks and try some new things."

Interested in learning more about this project? Bojan Fürst, manager of knowledge mobilization at the Harris Centre, would love to tell you more. Call him at 709-864-2120 or email him at bfurst@mun.ca.

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