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