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Screening New Market Opportunities for Sustainably Managed State, Private and Tribal Working Forests

By Genevieve Bennett and Melissa Gallant
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Sustainably managed working forests provide not just wood and fiber, but a range of other benefits: clean water, wildlife habitat, carbon storage, flood protection, recreational and cultural values, and more. Scaling up investments in sustainable forest management can generate financial returns for good stewardship of these multiple conservation values.

The United States Forest Service (USFS) is working to increase and unlock funding for forest stewardship, restoration, and protection by collaborating with the conservation finance sector. USFS seeks to leverage shared investments to increase the resilience of our nation’s forests – both public and private. A better understanding where of opportunities exist to generate revenues from the multiple conservation values of sustainable forest management will help USFS and its partners design and target technical assistance to managers of working forests.

USFS partnered with Forest Trends and the Environmental Protection Agency’s EnviroAtlas team to develop a beta version of a screening tool to identify key opportunities for catalyzing shared investments in sustainably managed working forests. This screening tool can also help USFS and its partners identify where shared public-private investments may be possible, thereby increasing the pace and scope of restoration and conservation. This use case provides details of our research approach and summary results. Building on the screening tool developed here, USFS and its partners will refine our approach in consultation with stakeholders, and explore more in-depth analysis identifying priority areas to target for new public and private investments.