Why We Do It

The Link to Family Forest Owners

We understand the needs of family forest owners, and value their conservation contributions and the vast potential of their land.

Family forest owners care for the largest portion of forests in the United States—more than the government or corporations—so they play a vital role in unlocking the many conservation benefits our forests provide.

The American Forest Foundation is the only national conservation organization actively working across a broad coalition of partners to engage and empower family forest owners to make a meaningful conservation impact in carbon sequestration, wildfire mitigation, wildlife habitat, clean water, sustainable wood supplies and support for rural communities. 

Family forest owners own the largest portion—39%—of American forests.

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Across the United States, 21 million families and individuals manage 290 million acres of forestland. That’s one in four rural Americans who play an active role in forest health.

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Family-owned forests provide carbon storage, wildlife habitat, clean water and sustainable wood supplies. They also have the power to help mitigate catastrophic wildfires and provide support for America’s rural communities.

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Family forest owners face challenges when it comes to forest management, like lack of specific expertise and the high costs. About two out of three family forest owners have a household income of less than $100,000.

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American forests are under increasing stress but family forest owners want to help. They care about their land—and want to improve the health of their forests to ensure that they’re around for future generations.

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