SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY &
AFRICAN AMERICAN LAND RETENTION
SFLR exists to create a sustainable system of support for African American forest owners that significantly increases the value of African American owned forests, land retention, and asset development for Black families in the U.S. South.
An Award-Winning Network
The SFLR program to advance the interests of African American forest owners has been recognized with multiple awards, including the USDA U.S. Forest Service (Forest Service) Regional Forester’s (Region 8) Honor Award for Delivering State and Private Forestry Programs in 2019; the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships in 2018; and the USDA’s highest honor, the Abraham Lincoln Award for protecting natural resources in 2016.
Keeping Black-Owned Forests Forested and in the Family
Most African American landowners have owned their family land for generations. Land management decisions are oftentimes driven by family legacy – rather than economic – factors. Without realizing any value from their land, however, the property faces risk of becoming a liability, rather than an asset. African Americans have faced additional challenges due to heirs’ property (also known as tangled title), smaller land holdings, and mistrust of the forest industry and federal programs.
Enter sustainable forestry – a way for landowners to maintain their deep ties to the land while promoting wealth creation and land retention. SFLR supports using sustainable forestry to help African American forest owners access the American Rescue Plan.