July 30, 2018| Forests

When a large working forest is broken up—subdivided for development or sold off into smaller pieces—nothing can put these ecosystems back together again. Breaking up the forest like this harms its ability to clean the air and filter the water for entire regions, protect critical habitat for wildlife to roam, and keep local jobs and rural economies intact.

Never in America’s history have we experienced such rapid loss of our privately-owned, working forests. Over the past 15 years more than 20 million acres have been lost, roughly the size of the state of South Carolina. Another 45 million acres could be lost in the next 15 years. This is one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time—and until now, one of the most overlooked. We have a short window of time to protect these working forests and must act quickly.

Through The Conservation Fund's Working Forest Fund program we focus our efforts on conserving large, privately-owned working forests of over 10,000 acres held by companies and timber management organizations. These forests are vulnerable to being broken up and sold for development. Our goal is to protect 5 million acres of working forests in danger of conversion or fragmentation. We aim to keep these working forests working and ensure these lands continue to benefit people and wildlife for generations to come.