What Is a Community Forest?
We envision a world where people and nature thrive together.
Community forestry is a flexible model for a human-nature partnership based on local stewardship of our natural resources. A community forest empowers local residents to control decisions on forest management and use, and to derive benefits from both. Every community forest has unique circumstances and community-set objectives.
Whether the underlying ownership is public or private, the core tenets of community forestry are:
The community is involved in the establishing the community forest;
The community forest is owned and managed by or on behalf of a community;
The governance structure ensures collaboration and community participation in management decisions;
The community has access to the value and benefits of the forest that support and reinforce community priorities; and
The forest is permanently protected from conversion to development.
Common Objectives and Benefits for Community Forests
Build forest health and resiliency through restoration and controlled burning;
Provide local jobs in forest products and outdoor recreation;
Protect working forests from conversion to development;
Conserve clean water supplies and healthy fish and wildlife habitat;
Engage and train local youth to achieve forest management goals;
Maintain and enhance diverse recreation opportunities at low cost to community members;
Empower underserved community members to connect to and benefit from the forest;
Establish a public process to ensure local control and responsiveness to new proposals.