Motivating Forest Stewardship and American Tree Farm Certification among Family Forestland Owners in Priority Ecological Areas

Project Description
The American Forest Foundation (AFF) was awarded $30,000 to support North Carolina family forestland owners in certification to the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) and engage landowners who may not be ready for certification, on a pathway to sustainable forest management.
In this unique project, AFF conducted outreach utilizing several coordinated targeting methods, which together ensured both the certification relevance and ecological impact of efforts. The first level of targeting was selecting lands within the North Carolina Significant Geographic area identified by the “America’s Longleaf Conservation Plan.” That focus was further refined to reflect highest priority areas based on an assessment of ecological importance at the landscape level. The resulting priority areas were then compared against the ownership boundaries of State Forest Stewardship Landowners that lie within the procurement areas of SFI certification participants to determine the core area of focus. Lastly, within this focal area, landowners were screened using practices developed by AFF that identify individuals most likely to certify their lands or pursue sustainable forestry. These landowners were contacted and offered field visits and expert advice by ATFS Foresters. Landowners not ready to certify were encouraged to join local and state stewardship efforts and offered MyLandPlan, an AFF online resource for landowners interested in sustainable forestry.
The project supported SFI objectives to increase sustainable forest management within the family forest landowner community, and protect ecologically significant landscapes.
Project Partners
For this project The American Forest Foundation partnered with The American Tree Farm System and the North Carolina Tree Farm Committee.
About American Forest Foundation
The American Forest Foundation (AFF) works on-the-ground with families, teachers and elected officials to promote stewardship and protect the values provided by our nation’s forest heritage. A commitment to the next generation unites our nationwide network of forest owners and teachers. These devoted professionals work to keep our forests healthy and our children well-prepared for the future they will inherit.
AFF works nationwide and in partnership with local, state and national groups to address ecological and economic challenges that require the engagement of family forest owners.