Did you know that more than half the forest land in the United States is owned and managed by some 10.6 million private forest owners? These working forests benefit us all. Private forest lands:
- Supply nearly 30 percent of the water we drink as well as clean air, fish and wildlife habitat, and significant recreation opportunities.
- Provide over 90 percent of our domestically-produced forest products, including the timber needed to build homes and fuel wood for heating them.
- Support 2.4 million jobs primarily in rural communities, and
- Contribute to our nation’s energy security, housing, and infrastructure.
These forests face many threats, including wildland fire, invasive species, pests and disease, and the permanent loss of working forest land to non-forest uses. The Forest Service helps ensure that forest landowners have the best technical, educational, and financial assistance available to achieve their unique objectives and to keep forests working for all of us. We do this through a variety of Cooperative Forestry programs and tools:
- Community Forest and Open Space Conservation assists Tribes, local governments, and nonprofits to acquire and establish community forests for recreation, clean water, wildlife habitat, education, and other community benefits.
- Forest Legacy permanently conserves environmentally significant forest land threatened by conversion.
- Forest Stewardship provides technical assistance to private landowners to encourage long term forest management.
- Wood Innovations expands and creates markets for wood products and wood energy that support sustainable management of the nation’s forests.
- Urban and Community Forestry helps localities manage urban natural resources for public benefit.
- Landscape Scale Restoration funds collaborative restoration of forest landscapes through competitive cross boundary projects.
- Forest Health Protection provides technical and financial assistance on forest health-related matters.
- National Agroforestry Center accelerates the adoption of agroforestry across the country.