Welcome Kendal Martel

Welcome Kendal Martel, the Program Coordinator for the Southwest Office. Kendal works with Guild partners to coordinate outreach and engagement around Fire Adapted Communities, collaborative forest restoration, and community-based forest management. Check out her staff bio on our website.

With a strong background in facilitation around natural resources, Kendal is running a project to partner with American Forest Foundation on direct outreach to landowners in six targeted watersheds in New Mexico and Southwest Colorado. While outreach strategies will vary between priority watersheds, common tools include a two-touch direct mail campaign, facilitating currently engaged landowners (e.g., Firewise communities, Tree Farmers) to become ambassadors for watershed protection, and hosting engaging public outreach events.  In second phase of the project, we will use collaborative controlled burns in the targeted watersheds as a novel catalyst for engagement. Collaborative controlled burns are a unique opportunity in fire adapted ecosystems to connect with landowners and those who work with them. Controlled burning (and the reintroduction of fire generally) is also crucial to the long-term goal of protecting our watersheds from large, severe wildfires. Returning fire to forests that evolved with it is the most effective and cost-efficient way to maintain healthy ecosystems. 

Kendal is also working closely with the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition to host a learning exchange in New Mexico designed to connect local practitioners with leaders from other Western communities working on all lands projects. The goals are to expand upon new tools and ideas available to improve the practice of working across all lands. The RVCC national meeting will also be in Santa Fe in January and Kendal will spearhead the Guild’s participation.

We look forward to discovering all the ways Kendal's experience in collaborative governance, including work for the Peace Corps in Zambia, will further develop towards strong and successful partnerships in the Guild's project areas. Welcome, Kendal!