TELE Resources

TELE (Tools for Engaging Landowners Effectively) is a program used by natural resource professional nationwide to increase their success at contacting family forest owners and getting them to carry out conservation projects. TELE uses landowner data and social science techniques to efficiently and effectively engage landowners and lead them to take stewardship actions.
New England cottontail habitat Berkshires MA
The TELE program is delivered through a partnership with the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Center for Nonprofit Strategies, and the Family Forest Research Center of the USDA Forest Service and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

In 2020, TELE began working with state conservationists in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire in a pilot project exploring ways to motivate private landowners to create habitat for the New England cottontail.

For general information on TELE, visit:


The following summary timeline and tools let a natural resource professional use the TELE PROCESS to engage with landowners.

Outreach Summary Timelines and Materials
This summary sheet provides bullet-point lists of the materials and timelines needed in each step of the outreach plan, including initial outreach, site visit, post site visit, habitat plan, and habitat implementation.

Tracking Tool
This Excel file provides a single place to keep all the information needed for a successful project, plus summaries that can be used to monitor and evaluate the ongoing process.

INITIAL OUTREACH: The following tools include a media strategy document; a media list for each state; and a template and example of a press release. A short video introducing young forest habitat can be posted to social media. These tools are designed to be used by state teams for local media outreach immediately prior to beginning the outreach campaign.

Media Strategy

Press Release Example

Media List Maine

Media List Massachusetts

Media List New Hampshire

MA-Absentee Urban Landowners Mailer

MA-Multigenerational Local Landowners Mailer

MA-Relocated Exurban Landowners Mailer

ME-Absentee Urban Landowners Mailer

ME-Multigenerational Local Landowners Mailer

ME-Relocated Exurban Landowners Mailer

NH-Absentee Urban Landowners Mailer

NH-Multigenerational Local Landowners Mailer

NH-Relocated Exurban Landowners Mailer

SITE VISIT: The leave-behind packet contains useful items for the landowner to look at on their own; it should be given to them at the close of the initial site visit (or mailed to them if they are an Absentee Landowner). The packet includes a Habitat Creation Process diagram that walks the landowner through the steps they will take if they agree to create young forest habitat on their property. It also includes the New England Cottontail and Young Forest brochures that have been edited specifically for this outreach campaign. Two videos (one long, the other short) describe young forest habitat. Their URLs can be given to landowners either before or after a site visit.

New England Cottontail Brochure

Young Forest Brochure

Habitat Creation Process

Young Forest Video (Long)

Young Forest Video (Short)

POST SITE VISIT: A thank you card should be sent to the landowner right after the initial site visit, thanking them for their interest and providing another point of contact and connection to the landowner.

Thank You Cards

HABITAT PLAN: The plan template lets natural resource professionals provide a landowner with a complete and easy-to-read habitat plan.

NEC Restoration Plan Template

IMPLEMENTATION: After a landowner creates young forest habitat on their property, they can be offered an attractive sign explaining the project's importance.

Helping Wildlife Sign