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Southern Foresters' Climate Observations: State Comparisons and Spatial Trends

Climate change beliefs and concerns are well documented for the American public, but fewer studies focus on the perceptions and adaptation needs of key groups involved in management of natural resources. A survey of professional foresters in the southern United States found that southern foresters observed an overall change in climate, longer dry periods or drought conditions, greater frequency and/or severity of invasive plant infestations, warmer winters, and hotter summers with the highest frequency. Other examples of climatic change (e.g., greater frequency and/or severity of fires) was observed frequently only in select states. A spatial analysis of foresters’ responses provided evidence that observations of climatic change are generally observed with higher frequency by foresters from Oklahoma, Florida, and Kentucky.

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The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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