Decreased demand for forest products may lead landowners to look for higher and better returns from alternative land uses. Land development is one of the leading causes of forest conversion and is a significant threat to North American forests. The USDA Forest Service projects that up to 44 million acres of forest in the U.S. will be lost to development and conversion by 2030. Strong markets for timber and ecological services provide an economic incentive for landowners to continue to grow trees and to retain their forests.
Creating new and growing economic value for landowners, whether through developing new markets or strengthening existing sectors and supply chains, helps prevent working forests from being converted to other uses, and is central to the Endowment’s mission.
Many private landowners use conservation easements to secure the economic and environmental benefits of working forests. For these landowners, the Endowment joins with public and private partners to offer options in specific regions.