Audubon Vermont has been using the TELE method on several of their projects aimed at improving bird and other wildlife habitat on private lands in Vermont. One recent project where they have employed targeted outreach is the Woods, Wildlife, and Warblers project, a partnership between Audubon Vermont, the Vermont Tree Farm Committee, the Vermont Woodlands Association, and the American Forest Foundation.
The goal of the project is to provide landowners in southern Vermont with the knowledge, tools, and resources that will allow them to better manage their land for wildlife. To achieve this goal, Audubon and its partners are offering free, no obligation services to landowners, such as informational materials and site visits from a professional resource manager.
Over 3,000 landowners across four counties in southern Vermont received up to three mailings describing steps to get either more information or a resource professional to come to their property. To improve response rates, a preliminary survey was sent out to landowners to get a sense of what their interests were. Then mailings were drafted to appeal to woodland retreat owners and more specifically, depending on how landowners responded to the survey, the partnership would send out either a bird focused mailing or a general wildlife focused mailing.
Jim Shallow, managing director of Audubon Vermont, has been pleased with the results. To date, 69 landowners have requested visits, 8 landowners are planning harvests or other timber management covering 1,300 acres, and 13 others have signed up for e-tips emails. The partnership plans to continue tracking response rates and improving mailing to reach more individuals.