The Communities Committee is a nonprofit organization made up of a diverse group of people from across the United States who believe local participation in stewardship of natural resources is critical to both forest ecosystem health and community well-being. The Committee is comprised of urban foresters, environmental activists, private forest landowners, civil servants, forest stewardship practitioners, professional foresters, forest industry representatives, academics, and researchers.
The purpose of the Communities Committee is to focus attention on the interdependence of America's forests and the vitality of rural and urban communities and to promote:
- improvements in political and economic structures to ensure local community well-being and the long-term sustainability of forested ecosystems;
- an increasing stewardship role of local communities in the maintenance and restoration of ecosystem integrity and biodiversity;
- participation by ethnically and socially diverse members of urban and rural communities in decision-making and sharing benefits of forests;
- the innovation and use of collaborative processes, tools, and technologies; and,
- the recognition of the rights and responsibilities of diverse forest land owners.
Acquiring and Managing a Community-Owned Forest: A Manual for Communities
This manual provides a guide for communities interested in establishing a community‐owned forest, whether just beginning to think about a project or re‐engaging community residents around land already in community ownership. Creating and managing a community‐owned forest requires the collaborative development of a community vision and mission for the forest, a commitment to sharing in the costs and benefits of that forest, and the crafting of a governance and operational structure that ensures consistent, long‐term management for forest resiliency and sustainability. Our manual includes step-by-step advice on getting started, engaging the broader community, financing acquisition, and long-term management and stewardship, as well as an extensive, annotated list of additional resources.
To download a copy of the manual, click here.