Pledge by Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Network
SFLR Climate Solutions Partnership
Supporting actions: Sustainable Forestry, Workforce Development, Conservation Finance, Land Tenure Education and Assistance; Technical Assistance,
The Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention (SFLR) Network is one of the only African American-led and managed conservation and environmental networks. SFLR’s mission is to create a sustainable support system for African American forest owners. SFLR works to increase the value of African American-owned forests, promote land retention, develop assets, encourage conservation, preserve clean water and clean air, and educate landowners about the principles and practices of climate change mitigation.
The goals of our Trillion Trees pledge are supporting actions for existing sustainable forestry practices with an emphasis on legal support to ensure forestland retention.
When fully realized, the SFLR Climate Solutions Partnership will provide technical assistance to landowners and educate the next generation of land stewards in the southeastern United States on sustainable forestry practices, climate change mitigation, and heirs’ property resolution. This work will help address equity for socially disadvantaged forest owners in eight southeastern states.
The SFLR Network pledges to work with its partners to connect African American landowners to state and federal forestry and conservation agencies, private consulting foresters, and the forest industry. These connections facilitate technical assistance and funding opportunities to increase forestry and conservation practice implementation and sustain forestland in the southeastern U.S.
This pledge will take place from 2020 to 2030.
Our primary Trillion Trees pledge partners are: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Forest Service, American Forest Foundation, U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, USDA Farm Service Agency, State Forestry Agencies
The SFLR Network partners with local businesses, financial institutions, and the forestry industry to enhance opportunities for environmental education, youth education on natural resource career pathways, and implementation of forestry practices.
Land Tenure Education and Assistance
Legal and management issues can result in loss of forestland, which disproportionately impacts African American landowners, especially those owning land in America’s wood basket. A basic tenet of the SFLR program is secure landownership to support sustainable stewardship. Landowners enrolling in the SFLR program agree to retain ownership of their land and receive comprehensive education and legal assistance to secure and maintain multi-generational ownership.
SFLR leads the outreach and education of African American landowners in sustainable forestry practices while connecting them to resources and opportunities for sustainable forestry development and delivery of technical assistance programs.
SFLR staff and partners provide the initial engagement to landowners delivering a variety of technical assistance. SFLR landowners are guided through the process and implementation of sustainable forest management. Since the inception of the SFLR Program in 2012, more than 100,000 acres are now under forest management.
The SFLR Network, connects youth to sustainable forestry concepts and conservation, forestry, and natural resource careers through increased forestry awareness and education. This education encourages interest in maintaining inherited forestland as an asset and developing career options in the environmental, natural resources, water quality, air quality, agriculture, and forestry fields. University partnerships provide undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities to gain experience in assisting private landowners with sustainable forest management concepts and practices.
SFLR African American family forest owners have deep, ancestral ties to the land, and they play an important role in reaching the one trillion trees goal through responsible and equitable forestry. The SFLR network has assisted more than 1,400 landowners across 102,000 acres in the U.S. Southeast. The Trillion Tree Initiative is a natural fit for these landowners, many of whom are actively engaged in sustainable forestry as a way to keep their forests as forests for future generations.