Community forests are protected forestlands that contribute to healthy, flourishing communities. Importantly, they offer residents and community members a direct say in how these lands are stewarded over time. These assets are being nurtured across the country as they are increasingly recognized as land-based economic development tools that deliver positive outcomes to the residents, visitors, and businesses located in their service areas. This report explores the numerous benefits provided by community forests created through the U.S. Forest Service’s Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program. These values occur because these resources are designed to provide access to amenities for recreation, education, and tourism; offer forest-based products (e.g., timber, maple syrup, and firewood); produce forest-based services (e.g., carbon sequestration, habitat, fire risk mitigation, and water quality); and foster economic development opportunities by bolstering the recreation economy and enhancing property value.

To learn more, download “Community Forests: A path to prosperity and connection,” a special report, and accompanying handouts, from The Trust for Public Land in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, and with generous support from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities.