family’s forestland is a valuable asset that should be carefully managed
for the many benefits it provides. Private forestlands in the South
provide most of our region’s wildlife habitat, support a strong forest
products industry, and are an excellent long-term investment.
estimate that the South is losing 645,000 acres of forests to development
each year, and that by 2040 25% of our remaining forestland will have been
converted to pine plantations. While our forests support some of the
greatest wildlife diversity in America, there are already more threatened
forested ecosystems in the South than in any other part of the U.S.
private landowners own 72% of the forestlands in the South. Our
forestlands already produce more timber that any other region of the U.S.
or any other country in the world, and timber production is projected to
increase 50% by 2040.
forestlands must be conserved and managed sustainably to maintain wildlife
habitat and the long-term viability of our forest-based economies. By
using sustainable forest management, landowners can be good stewards while
still enjoying and profiting from their forestland.
are many benefits of sustainable forest management:
forestry relies on maintaining or improving forest health. You can
continue to enjoy the beauty, recreational opportunities, and profits
from your forest while conserving an intact forest.
Incentives for Conservation
you conserve your forestland from development, you can receive various
tax benefits and financial assistance for some forestry activities.
forestry produces periodic income for valuable sawtimber and other
products while keeping the forest intact. Forest recreation (such as
hiking and hunting) and tourism (such as rental cabins or camping) can
also provide good income.
is considered one of the most stable long-term investments. Timber
harvests are carefully planned so that the forest’s “inventory” is
maintained or improved. In other words, you maintain your timber
“capital” while only harvesting the “interest” while the
property’s value continues to increase.
you can do
Your local land
trust can help you identify opportunities to conserve your land through
easements and other financial incentive programs. Contact the Land Trust
Alliance: www.LTA.org, 919-424-4427
state department of forestry to find out about “Present Use” tax
reduction programs that reduce property taxes for forestland.
local government (county/city) to find out about any local forestland
for good forestry
Learn as much as
you can about forest management options.
Find a reputable
consulting forester who can help you determine the best way to manage
your forest to meet your goals. The Forest Guild has a directory of
foresters who practice sustainable forestry on their website: www.ForestGuild.org
forestry supports much more than just forest conservation. Across the
South, communities are organizing to conserve forestlands and create
strong forest-based economies:
are conserving their forestland for wilderness and recreation values,
and using sustainable management to produce high-value timber and other
who specialize in sustainable management are showing landowners how to
conserve, restore, and derive income from their forests without
compromising any of their goals.
& Harvesters with
a commitment to maintaining the ecological health and productivity of
forests are using restoration and low-impact harvesting techniques to
produce high-value timber and other products.
& Businesses are
creating value-added forest products such as building materials,
furniture, and medicinal plant products. These enterprises create good
jobs, keep economic returns in local communities, and keep ownership in
sustainable forestry publications:
Your Woodlands: A Guide for Southern Appalachian Landowners
Forestry: Forestry as if the future mattered
Environmental Policy Institute www.meepi.org/lif/
Vigor Forestry: Sustainable Forest Management from the Forest Owner’s
Point of View