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Healthy Forests Alliance Case Study

Overview

In the late-1990s, the Oregon forest industry faced its biggest challenge ever. Activists delivered enough signatures to get their initiative on the November ballot. Portrayed as a clearcutting ban, it actually threatened to end virtually all timber harvesting in Oregon and cost the state approximately 65,000 jobs.

Execution

Working on behalf of the Healthy Forests Alliance, Dan developed a media and speaker training curriculum designed to quickly teach an army of local spokespersons how to effectively communicate the campaign's key messages. Ultimately, more than 200 small woodland owners and foresters were trained, many of whom hosted media tours of their forests to illustrate the devastating effect the ballot measure would have if it were to pass.

Results

With the help of this grassroots army, 81 percent of Oregon voters rejected the measure and public opinion polls showed resurgence in respect for the forest industry. The program was recognized with the 1999 PRSA Silver Anvil Award of Excellence in public affairs.

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