Initiative will help tribes, Native Hawaiians and others access resources and private markets for resilient reforestation 

The USDA Forest Service has awarded American Forests $12 million to help tribes and underserved communities access financial and technical support for resilient reforestation. 

Over the next three years, American Forests will collaborate with the Forest Service and numerous partners to make resilient reforestation more affordable and accessible for underserved landowners, including federally recognized tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. 

Underserved landowners often encounter financial, cultural and social barriers to reforestation, including discrimination. The high up-front costs of forest restoration, including expenses for land preparation and the cost of seedlings, present additional challenges. 

Through the award, American Forests and partnering organizations will help forest owners participate in emerging private markets for resilient reforestation. Private markets, which include markets for carbon, clean water and biodiversity, compensate forest owners for the ecological benefits of restored forests – creating new sources of revenue for the owners.  

American Forests has been pioneering an innovative approach that enables landowners to use private market financing to cover the high upfront costs of resilient reforestation, while tracking the ecological outcomes of the investment. The new award will expand American Forests’ ability to apply this approach to underserved landowners. 

Landowners will also receive technical assistance to support climate-informed resilient reforestation projects. American Forests will support project planning, implementation and monitoring, integrating Indigenous knowledge with the best available climate science to create ecologically-rich forests adapted to the stressors of a changing climate, including drought and wildfire. 

“Many tribes across Indian Country are looking to develop carbon projects that actively address climate change and implement sustainable management practices on their lands,” said Bryan Van Stippen, program director with the National Indian Carbon Coalition. “By using the revenue from these carbon sequestration projects, tribes will be able to mitigate and adapt to some of that change that’s going to happen to their land over the next 30 to 40 years.” 

The initiative will support more than 10 tribes and 1,000 landowners seeking to restore forests damaged by deforestation and disasters, like wildfire and disease. Altogether, funded American Forests projects are projected to plant two million trees and remove over one million metric tons of atmospheric carbon. 

The award is one of twenty announced today that will be receiving a total of $116 million from the Forest Service through the Forest Landowner Support Program. Funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, the program is investing $145 million in organizations that support underserved and small-acreage forest owners.

“This strategically directed funding from the Inflation Reduction Act will enable leaders in forestry to work side-by-side with native and tribal partners as well as underserved private landowners to return healthy and resilient forests to our landscapes,” said Jad Daley, president and CEO of American Forests.  

“About 60 percent of all forests in the U.S. are on privately-owned and tribal lands. By working together to remove barriers long-faced by land stewards, we can unlock new reforestation opportunities and innovative ways to finance this work into the future for our communities and our climate.” 


ABOUT AMERICAN FORESTS: American Forests is the first national nonprofit conservation organization created in the U.S. Since its founding in 1875, the organization has been the pathfinders for the forest conservation movement. Its mission is to create healthy and resilient forests, from cities to large natural landscapes, that deliver essential benefits for climate, people, water and wildlife. The organization advances its mission through forestry, innovation, place-based partnerships to plant and restore forests, and movement building. For more information visit: