Our Services – Land Utilization = Forestry

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There are many ways that historically under-served families may utilize their land to increase economic benefit from it.

The Center’s Land Utilization program is currently providing these families with sustainable forestry education, technical assistance and resources to realize more income from their family land.

Here’s how that all began… In 2013, the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (USE)*,  USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and USDA Forest Service funded three pilot projects to promote “Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention” in response to the need to restore and conserve African American forested acres and increase its value and productivity through education, technical assistance and forest management resources. [The other pilot projects are located in North Carolina and Alabama.]

The impact and success of the pilot project has led to the Center’s decision to officially incorporate the Sustainable Forestry in the Center’s work with a Director, two foresters and a forestry data-entry assistant.

The Center provides forestry education and services to both heirs’ property and non-heirs’ property landowners across 15 counties, and the pilot project funder – U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Inc. – will continue to fund the work through 2018.

*The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Inc. (the “Endowment”) is a not-for-profit public corporation that works collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities – www.usendowment.org.

Read about the results of the Center’s forestry work here: Center’s Impact: Promoting Sustainable Forestry on African American Family Lands

Success = Impact = Families transforming their land into a wealth-building asset

The Center’s Forestry Program (2013-TODAY)

  • 64 families have forest management plans and/or conservation plans in place where there had been none;
  • 89 families have received a total of $859,294 in USDA/NRCS  “EQIP” (Environmental Quality Incentive Program) financial assistance to help pay for work done on their land according to their forest management plans (up to 90% of cost);
  • 23 families have realized $1,319,598 in income from selling their timber, and
  • More than 300 families are engaged at various levels of the Forestry Program with a combined ownership of more than 20,000 acres of forestland.

One step further…

The Center’s “Woodland Community Advocates want to do MORE!  Below – the 2016 “Woodland Community Advocates” are eager to spread the “good news” about the Center’s work.

It’s vitally important to maintain people’s connection to the land to successfully conserve it.

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OTHER RESOURCES

American Tree Farm System: www.treefarmsystem.org

SC Forestry Commission: www.state.sc.us/forest 

Natural Resources Conservation Service: www.nrcs.usda.gov 

Sustainable Forestry Initiative: www.sfiprogram.org