In 2012, the Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Program (SFLR) was launched by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) in partnership with two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies: the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Forest Service. The goal was to help rural Black landowners address heirs’ property and land retention issues and understand the value of responsibly managing forest land. Since then, additional supporters focused on redressing Black land loss have included The JPB Foundation and the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.
Since its inception, SFLR has improved forest management and forest retention by connecting African American landowners to established networks of forestry support, including federal and state government programs, businesses, and non-profit conservation, legal, community development, and Black social justice organizations. During the summer of 2019, the American Forest Foundation (AFF) assumed the administrative, fundraising, policy advocacy, and technical support functions of the SFLR program in collaboration with the SFLR Network, made up of eight “anchor organizations” listed below.