August 25, 2017|By The Conservation Fund| Community Development
Read this recent article published by HuffPost about our work to conserve working forests and keep rural economies alive in a region that borders the states of New York, Massachusetts and Vermont:

The Conservation Fund has preserved nearly 500,000 acres of privately owned forested land over the last 20 years, through a process known as conservation easement. The Fund agrees to buy the land from investors, then adds restrictions to the deeds excluding development. The new terms allow activities like recreation and sustainable logging, where foresters select specific trees to fell and lumbermen like Gale carefully cut them and drag them out. The Conservation Fund then sells the land to new owners, who agree to maintain the easement’s terms of use, and uses proceeds of the sales to create easements in other parts of the country.

The Conservation Fund’s latest acquisition, known as the Cowee forest, once produced most of the the small forked stakes used to hold notecards in flower arrangements for the world. For nearly a century, the Cowee family bought up tracts of the forest, which supplied a steady stock of lumber for their mill in Berlin, New York, a tiny town known now as a bedroom community for Albany. Facing competition from cheap, plastic alternatives, the mill began a painful contraction, pink-slipping one-third of its employees in 2001. At the time, the mill’s general manager described the tumult: “We’re a neighborhood hardware store, and China is the Home Depot of the world.”

Click here to read the whole article.

Interested in the work of the Working Forest Fund? Click here for more information.