How sustainable forestry can help the legacy of African American Landowners

As we recognize African American History Month, it is important to highlight a lesser known part of this history – the legacy of forest ownership among the black community, and the leaders who are working to preserve it.

For over 150 years, forest stewardship and farming have been an important part of African American history. Following the Civil War, many African American families took to the land to seek their future. By 1910, black landowners had accumulated 15 million acres across the US South and by the 1920s, 14% of all farms in the US, nearly one million properties, were owned by black families.

However, due to lack of legal resources, many landowners either never prepared a will or prepared a will naming all of their children as heirs. As these properties were passed down through the…

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