America’s family forest owners are dedicated to doing right by their land, and each one has a unique story to tell.
Carbon Program Helps Remove Invasive Species, Cover Property Tax for Pennsylvania Landowner
Susan Benedict was thrilled to inherit the 2,000 acres of forest land that has been in her family for several generations, but affording the maintenance and management of the property quickly became a challenge.
Vermont Organic Maple Sugar Business Thrives in the Family Forest Carbon Program
Chris Johnson and his family steward around 450 acres of forestland in Lincoln, Vermont. They eat from the property’s apple trees in the fall, harvest timber for the winter and collect sap for the family’s organic maple syrup operation in the spring.
3 Extra Perks of Enrolling in the Family Forest Carbon Program
When considering a forest carbon program, it is natural (and wise!) for landowners to weigh the costs and benefits of their options, and what sets one program apart from another. In this post you'll learn about three ways we strive to build a relationship that connects you with resources and opportunities that align with your goals, and with other landowners who share similar experiences.
What Landowners in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin Can Expect from the Family Forest Carbon Program
There’s a buzz in the air and it’s not the mosquitoes — yet! The Family Forest Carbon Program recently expanded to include select counties in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and foresters and family forest owners alike are excited.
What We Pay and Why It's Not For Carbon
The Family Forest Carbon Program is about more than monetary payments. The benefits include a better forest to enjoy for you and future generations. But how is the value of your payments determined, how are they funded and what are those payments for? Let's explore this unique program's financial benefits.
Talking about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice in the Family Forest Carbon Program
In March, the American Forest Foundation held its first Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Summit in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Tatiana Height shares some insights.
The Sticky Wicket that is Additionality
Carbon is everywhere in your forest—in the trees, in their leaves, in the soil, in the dead woody debris that litters the forest floor, and even in the wood products that are created when your trees are harvested. When landowners hear that there are programs that will pay them for their carbon, some think about that carbon—the carbon that is out there in their woods right now, today. But that’s not exactly what carbon programs are after. Carbon programs are after additional carbon—the carbon that would not have been there without the program’s help.
Is the Family Forest Carbon Program Right For You? Part 4: You Want to Make Sure You're Getting a Good Deal
First, we want to acknowledge that financial considerations are probably not the number one motivating factor for you when you think about your goals for your forest. However, they are also not unimportant. If you’re like most landowners, you want to know that whatever you implement is going to be financially possible for you and your family, and you want to know that you’re not making an outright poor financial decision.
Is the Family Forest Carbon Program Right For You? Part 5: You Care What Happens to Your Land When You're Gone
What happens to my contract if I sell the property? What if the property passes on to my heirs in the event of my death? These are very valid questions. Data on land tenure indicates that most properties that enroll in The Family Forest Carbon Program will be owned by someone else by the end of the 20-year enrollment period, so we have intentionally designed the program to benefit the current owner, as well as the next. In this post we look at how the program can support future owners of your land.
Is the Family Forest Carbon Program Right For You? Part 3: You’re Concerned About Greenwashing and Corporate Polluting
Simply put, "greenwashing" is the act of marketing something as being more environmentally friendly than it is. Even if the term itself is new to you, the idea has likely already crossed your mind while considering this or other carbon programs. In this post we look at what we are doing to mitigate greenwashing, and how we ensure we're producing credits that meet the highest standards of integrity.
Is the Family Forest Carbon Program Right For You? Part 1: An Introduction to the Program
As you work with the Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP) you will learn that we are different from other carbon programs and opportunities for landowners. We are proud of what makes us unique and want to provide you with this information to help you make the right decision for you and your property. In this post we look at the key benefits of enrolling in FFCP and how we are different from other carbon programs.
Is the Family Forest Carbon Program Right For You? Part 2: You Need Forestry Guidance or Financial Assistance
One of the most common things we hear from landowners is that they want to do right by their land, and just need a bit of guidance to ensure they are making the right choices. In this post we look at the ways the Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP) provides you with technical assistance and management flexibility to reach your unique goals for your land.
Meet Doug and Teresa Moore, Recipients of the National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Award
Doug and Teresa Moore are the recipients of the American Tree Farm System's® 2022 National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Award.
Peter and Julie Parker: Good Stewardship Today Helps Secure Our Collective Future
Peter and Julie Parker, Vermont landowners enrolled in the American Forest Foundation's Family Forest Carbon Program, recently shared their story with Woodland Magazine.
From a Google Search to a Sustaining Impact
When you make a gift during Giving Tuesday, a Global Day of Generosity, you connect with individuals far beyond your own backyard. Together, we can improve forest health, address climate change and support American communities.
Pennsylvania Landowner Talks Lasting Forest Stewardship
Karren DeSeve, a Pennsylvania landowner enrolled in the American Forest Foundation's Family Forest Carbon Program, recently shared her story with our partners at The Nature Conservancy.
West Virginia Landowner Is Keeping It in the Family
Jarrod Hatfield, a West Virginia landowner enrolled in the American Forest Foundation's Family Forest Carbon Program, recently shared his story with our partners at REI.
Maryland Landowner Sees the Potential in His Land
Bryce Trezise, a Maryland landowner enrolled in the American Forest Foundation's Family Forest Carbon Program, recently shared his story with our partners at U.S. Nature4Climate.
Meet Pam Byrne and John Huerta of West Virginia
Pam and John are dedicated to not only protecting a land, but to beginning a legacy. Learn how the Family Forest Carbon Program is helping them.
A Walk in the Woods
Meet three passionate families who share their experiences as forest owners.
A Dedication to Conservation
Pam and Jim Porter’s Jasper County, South Carolina forestland fulfills a life-long dream for Jim and has become a life’s passion for Pam. Both have become tireless advocates for conservation, carbon sequestration and sustainable forestry.
Mary LaHood and Bob Burns: 2021 National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year
The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) has named Mary LaHood and Bob Burns the 2021 National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year. Mary and Bob manage the 320-acre LaHood-Burns Family Forest with their children in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Black Hills Family Named National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year
The American Forest Foundation and the American Tree Farm System are excited to announce the 2021 National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year, Mary LaHood and Bob Burns of South Dakota.
Meet the Jacksons of Pennsylvania
When looking for resources to support the health of their forest, Laura and Mike discovered the Family Forest Carbon Program. They learned that the program offered a steady, long-term revenue stream to enable them to take on their forest projects and continue to improve their forest’s health.
Meet Tony and Debbie Wambaugh of Pennsylvania
When the time to retire came, Tony and Debbie Wambaugh were excited to be able to move to their family's land. Their main focus was on farming but they hadn't considered the potential of the 126 forested acres. An ad from the Family Forest Carbon Program changed all that.
The Impact of Philanthropy in Western Forests
Family forest owners Ron and Marianne Dreisbach use land management – and provide philanthropic support – to help wildfire mitigation efforts
Embracing Alabama's Longleaf
As a curious child and Eagle Scout in southeastern Alabama during the 1950s, Salem Saloom was surrounded by longleaf pine forests like the ones he and his wife, Dianne, and son, Patrick, now manage.
Meet the Hartman Sisters of Pennsylvania
For the Hartman sisters, Chestnut Farm is a family heirloom. Like a handmade rocking chair, or well-used quilt, it has a feeling of home and memories.
Planting Seeds for the Future of Family Forestry
Pride of ownership. That’s the driving force for Lois Kaufman and Dave McNamara as they steward their 53-acre property in Oak Run, California, about 30 miles northeast of Redding. They’ve both enjoyed long careers as foresters and mentored countless Tree Farmers.
Mary LaHood and Bob Burns, 2020 National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Finalist
Meet Mary LaHood and Bob Burns, finalists for the 2020 National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year from South Dakota.
Don Newell, 2020 National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Finalist
Don and Patricia Newell acquired their 250-acre property in Thorndike, Maine, in 1978, selling the lots with prime soils to farmers and keeping the forestland for their family. As a real estate broker and a descendent of Maine farmers and loggers, Don understands his obligation to leave the land better than he found it for future generations.
Clifton Taylor, 2020 National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Finalist
Clifton Taylor’s tree farm, Elk Cave Farms, in Gravel Switch, Kentucky, has grown from 287 acres in 1959 to 1,076 acres of certified hardwood forestland. That first tract launched the family’s mission of establishing new forests, tending young timber stands, and harvesting sustainable forest products from mature trees. Today, three generations of Taylors actively manage the land and generously share their knowledge with other landowners.
Paul and Joanne Mechling, 2020 National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Finalist
Paul and Joanne Mechling moved to Ashtabula County, Ohio, in 1974 to launch a veterinary practice. Although they knew very little about forest management at the time, they knew they wanted to own woodlands. The couple soon purchased their first parcel, 30 acres of reverting agriculture and clear-cut, and enrolled it in the Ohio Tree Farm program in 1978.
Gordon and Gail Culbertson, 2020 National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Finalist
Gail and Gordon Culbertson formed Whitewater Forests in 2001 with their first 43 acres in Douglas County, Oregon, eventually adding two more parcels for a total of 151 acres, 111 of which are ATFS certified. They sustainably produce premium sawmill and veneer logs from Douglas fir, Western red cedar, and white fir, while promoting healthy habitats and recreational opportunities.
New White Paper Details Opportunities to Empowering Family Forest Owners to Address Climate Change
The American Forest Foundation (AFF), a conservation organization that focuses on empowering family and private forest owners to protect and improve their forests, has released a new white paper outlining the case for working with family forests to sequester and store more carbon.
White Paper: Family Forests and Carbon Markets
It’s undeniable that our environment and climate face extreme challenges that must be addressed. Detailing America’s family-owned forests and their owners, the white paper explores the values and motivations of landowners, their barriers to action, and a crucial mechanism — carbon markets — that can help enable them to take action.
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.
Giving Back for the Forests of Tomorrow
Vermont Tree Farmers Peter and Julie Parker went from Tree Farm newcomers to advocates of how sustainably managing forests provides many benefits to the ecosystem, including wildlife habitat.
Bearing the Cost of Forest Ownership
Susan Benedict's 2,087 acre tract of forestland in Pennsylvania has been in her family for 3 generations. She is devoted to making it 5. But it hasn’t always been easy. The cost of owning – and sustainably caring for land each year has been a significant barrier.
FourTee Acres: Connecting the Generations
Tyrone Williams squinted into the sun as he looked toward the newly planted tract of loblolly pines on his 62-acre property in Enfield, North Carolina. The air was fragrant with the trees’ scent. He thought about his ancestors and how they surely stood in this very same spot.
Managing White Oaks During the Bourbon Boom
Bourbon’s popularity is on the rise around the United States. That means an equal rise in demand for white oak. Coopers use large, knot-free logs of this durable hardwood to make the barrels that give the spirit its rich flavors and amber hue.
Family Forest Owners Are Key to Conservation Impact
While our forests can feel like one vast expanse, forest ownership in the U.S. is actually a patchwork of lands, with public and private lands of all types and sizes interlocking to create a forested landscape. Regardless of ownership boundaries, forests and the important resources they provide—clean water, clean air, wildlife habitat, and sustainable wood supplies—thrive as an entire ecosystem or landscape.
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.
National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year 2018: Koral and Randy Clum
Koral and Randy Clum of Ohio have dedicated their professional and personal lives to managing forests for healthy trees, wildlife, and clean water and air. Over the past 25 years, they’ve shaped Hepatica Falls Tree Farm into a showcase of productive, sustainable forestland, all the while helping others manage their woodlands for generations to come.
Regional Outstanding Tree Farmers Amazing Examples of Long-term Commitment to Stewardship
Recently, we announced this year’s four American Tree Farm System (ATFS) Regional Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year: Jon and Carol Gould of Vernon, Florida; Russell Black of Wilton, Maine; Randy and Koral Clum of Dover, Ohio; and Dan Kingsbury of Olalla, Washington. As you read about their accomplishments, you will notice a common thread throughout each of their stories: a long-term commitment to stewardship of their forests.
Even Wildland Firefighters Need Help to Handle Wildland Fire Risk
When it was time to retire for Roy and Karen Stock and their friends, all their friends headed south to the warmth, but the Stocks made the decision to move north. After years of vacationing in Montana, they wanted a place with mountain views and big open skies. But rather than purchase a small bungalow like other retirees, they decided to take on a much bigger adventure—75 acres of forestland tucked into the Big Belt Mountain Range in Cascade.
2017 Successes from AFF’s Placed-based Conservation Work
The Zorenskys in Colorado were able to overcome outrageous costs to restoring fire-resilency to their forests; the Smiths of Connecticut have a management plan in place to create wildlife habitat and climate-resilency in their woods; Dorothy of Alabama, a wildlife lover, now understands the benefits of forest management and just conducted her first prescribed burn. There are hundreds of stories like these thanks to the American Forest Foundation’s (AFF) conservation work with partners and family forest owners across the U.S.
Report: Protecting Northeastern Wildlife Habitat
Learn more about the role family-owned forests can play in protecting and improving key wildlife habitat in the Northeastern U.S.
Report: Southern Wildlife at Risk
The Southern forests in the U.S. host more wildlife than any other region of the country. With ownership of 134 million acres, families and individuals can play a vitally important role in protecting and improving wildlife habitat, meeting demand for wood products, and maintaining overall forest health across the South.
Report: Western Water Threatened by Wildfire
As wildfire seasons continue to worsen, clean water sources are being put at risk. Addressing this issue requires working across both public and private lands and empowering landowners with the tools and resources they need to take action.