Characterizing Community Forests in the United States

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  • Research on community forests, primarily governed and managed by local forest users, in the United States is limited, despite their growth in numbers over the past decade. We conducted a survey to inventory CFs in the U.S., and better understand their ownership and governance structures, management objectives, benefits, and financing. The 98 CFs in our inventory occur on private, public, and Tribal lands. They had various ways of soliciting input from, or sharing decision-making authority with, local groups, organizations, and citizens. Recreation and environmental services were the most important management goals, but timber production occurred on more than two-thirds of CFs, contributing to income on many CFs, along with a diversity of other income sources to fund operations. We discuss the difficulties in creating a comprehensive CF inventory and typology in the U.S. given the diversity of models that exist, reflecting local social and environmental conditions, and the bottom-up nature of community forestry in the U.S.
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  • 122
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  • 1
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  • This study was funded in part by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Award number 2021-67023-34426. Partial funding was also provided by the USDA Forest Service's Southern Research Station, Pacific Northwest Research Station, and International Institute of Tropical Forestry as well as Oregon State University and North Carolina State University.
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  • 1938-3746



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