What We Do

Improve Wildlife Habitat

Managing our forests means caring for our most vulnerable wildlife.

Thriving forests are essential to protecting many of the country’s more than 4,600 plant and animal species considered to be at-risk (endangered or threatened).

Many at-risk species—like the red-cockaded woodpecker, the black pine snake and the gopher tortoise—depend on forests for protection, nest sites, migratory corridors and foraging opportunities. 

And because 60% of at-risk species in the continental United States live on private and family-owned forestland, these forests in particular have a very important role in wildlife protection.

Family forest owners: “We care.”

Environmental and economic threats such as development, fragmentation (the creation of small isolated tracts of forests), insect infestations and wildfires continually pose threats to our nation’s wildlife habitats.  

Thankfully, family forest owners (those owning between 20 and 1,000 acres of forestland) care and want to help. In fact, family forest owners note “wildlife” in the top five reasons they own their land. 

It’s only fitting that a key priority of the American Tree Farm System,® our nationwide network of family forest owners, is the implementation of sustainable forest management practices that improve wildlife habitat.

That’s why the American Forest Foundation is working with partners in nearly every region across the country—in projects like the AFF-USFWS Southeastern Habitat Improvement Initiative, My MassConn Woods, Woods, Wildlife and Warblers (Vermont) and the Carolinas Working Forest Conservation Collaborative—to activate and support concerned family forest owners in protecting the at-risk wildlife species living on their lands.

Related Articles

August 7, 2020

Filling in the Critical Data Gaps to Support the Gopher Tortoise

AFF’s approach to engaging private and family landowners in gopher tortoise recovery is filling in the gaps and providing a more comprehensive solution to helping this candidate species for federal protection.

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Dave and Dar New (WA), 2018 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year, with their kids and grandkids.

December 3, 2019

Outstanding Efforts to Restore Critical Habitat

The New family, David and Dar New, and their daughter’s family, Jennifer and Jeff Parker and their sons, are owners of the Nourse Family Tree Farm in Bellingham, Washington. The 165-acre property has been in Dar’s family for three generations.

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March 4, 2019

Giving Landowners the Right Resources and Tools to Manage their Forests

Landowners want to do right by their land, but often run into barriers. In the Southern Wildlife at Risk: Family Forest Owners Offer a Solution report - being unsure of what to do, finding the right professionals and programs to assist them, and cost can often stop family forest owners from taking action to improve their property.

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