Other Examples of U.S. Community Forests


Criteria and Indicators of Sustainability In Community Managed Forest Landscapes
This extensive guide offers steps to establishing indicators of sustainability in regard to community well-being, people’s well-being, forest landscape health through a collaborative process.

The story of the Randolph Community Forest: Building on local stewardship
The Randolph story describes the process that led one community to acquire the rights to own and manage the major portion of the town’s productive forest land base and secure access for recreational use and forest management activities.

The Randolph Community Forest in New Hampshire
The article discusses the land acquisition of 10,000 acres in the White Mountains to protect traditional working forest practices and provide a sound future for historic recreational uses as diverse as hiking and hunting, snowmobiling and maple sugaring.

Coolbaugh Natural Areas, Brooks Township, Newaygo County, Michigan
The 400-acre Coolbaugh Natural Areas contains white pine-white oak forests, remnants of dry sand prairie, the Coolbaugh and Bigelow Creek trout streams, a 3.5 acre pond and approximately 7 acres of wetlands. The property is managed to promote white pine-white oak reforestation and enlarge and restore prairie areas while enhancing wildlife habitat. Having received 75% funding from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Recreational Trust Fund (royalties from oil and gas extraction from state owned lands), the property must be open for public use but is restricted to non-motorized low-impact recreational activities.

Land Protection and Stewardship in Weston
Land conservation in Weston turns fifty this year. In 1953, the town established a Committee to Investigate and Report on the Matter of a Town Forest. Within a few years, several small tracts of Town Forest had been acquired, planting the seeds of more than 2,000 acres of open space that we own today. Weston at that time was a town of dwindling farms, fading estates, and a few other seedpods--of residential development. The genetic map by which Weston would unfold was laid down in the early 1950s by two critical decisions: residential zoning, and open space acquisition. The upshot is the suburb we see today: two-thirds detached houses on large lots and one-third schools, golf courses, and protected open space.

Bayfield Wisconsin County Forest
The Wisconsin Legislature passed the Forest Crop Law in 1927 authorizing counties to create county forests from tax delinquent lands. In 1929 the Legislature passed legislation that specifically exempted counties from having to pay the “acreage share fee” that private landowners had to pay. In 1931 legislation was passed providing county forests a payment of 10 cents an acre annually for all acres in County Forests, which was required to be used solely for the development of the forests. In return for this aid counties were required to pay a 75 percent severance tax to the state from forest products cut from their forests.

Arcata Community Forest
The Arcata Community Forest and Jacoby Creek Forest totals 1984 acres of forested uplands and consists of two separate tracts. The City also owner over 600 acres of wetland/riparian lowlands that are within the same small costal watersheds. Much of the acreage was purchased in the 1930’s and 1940’s for municipal watershed/water supply purposes but is no longer used for water supply. The forest is a 120-year-old second growth redwood stand. Other species include Douglas fir, Grand fir, Western hemlock and Sitka spruce.

Additional Web Links

Oregon Community Forest Authority
The CFA is the result of legislation enacted by the Oregon legislature last summer which creates a unique new funding source for the conservation of large tracts of productive timberland. The Forest Authority was set up following a grass roots community effort to support the Deschutes Basin Land Trust and its effort to acquire and conserve the 33,000 acre Skyline Forest, overlooking Bend, Tumalo and Sisters, Oregon.

Arcata City Forest
The city of Arcata owns 1815 acres of forested land which is managed for timber and recreational values. This document provides a great overview of timber management and forest uses on this community forest.

Local Government Forests in Michigan
Local governments in over half the counties in Michigan own forest land. These forests are owned by the residents of a county, township, or city and are generally managed according to the wishes of the local residents.

Wisconsin County Forests

Links to individual Wisconsin County Forests
(these mostly harvest timber, as well as provide other public benefits)

Eau Claire County, Wisconsin (52,000 acres)

Barron County, Wisconsin (15,000 acres)

Burnett County, Wisconsin

Links to Illinois County Forest Preserves










Rock Island

Aitkin County, Minnesota
(220,000 acres, tax forfeited lands, Smartwood Certified)