The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) applauds the inclusive, voluntary and collaborative approaches embraced by the Biden-Harris administration in its America the Beautiful Initiative, released today, which outlines the administration’s goal to conserve 30% of the nation’s land and water by 2030.
“Private working forests are delivering conservation and environmental benefits at scale across the country,” said Dave Tenny, founding president and CEO of the National Alliance of Forest Owners. “Modern forestry provides clean air and water, wildlife habitat, and jobs, all of which can help the Administration achieve its ambitious conservation goals.”
America’s 350 million acres of private working forests are a critical nature-based solution to many of our most pressing environmental challenges, and already play a critical role in climate mitigation, species conservation, and water quality improvement. The initiative appropriately recognizes these important benefits. It also embraces the powerful role of voluntary and incentive-based approaches to achieve impacts at scale.
NAFO’s Wildlife Conservation Initiative (WCI) is an innovative partnership that is already achieving the species conservation envisioned by the America the Beautiful Initiative. Through the WCI, private forest owners and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service engage local stakeholders to identify and conserve priority at-risk species through locally driven, on-the-ground conservation projects guided by rigorous science and research.
“Collaborative conservation works. When private landowners, local stakeholders, and state and federal agencies work together, we innovate in unprecedented ways to drive enduring conservation outcomes,” Tenny said. “Ultimately, that is the best approach for the species we’re all trying to help.”
“Conservation Without Conflict” is mentioned as an “Area of Early Focus” in the report, an important recognition of the proven impact of collaborative approaches to conservation. NAFO’s WCI is a primary example of “Conservation Without Conflict,” a newly formed coalition created to make voluntary collaboration the primary model for wildlife conservation on working lands across the United States. NAFO is a founding member of the “Conservation Without Conflict” coalition and serves on its steering committee.
As the administration continues to develop the details of the America the Beautiful Initiative, private forest owners are prepared to take their place as conservation leaders and committed partners.
The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) is a national advocacy organization committed to advancing federal policies that support the long-term economic, social and environmental benefits of sustainably managed privately-owned forests. NAFO member companies own and manage more than 46 million acres of private working forests – forests that are managed to provide a steady supply of timber. NAFO’s membership also includes state and national associations representing tens of millions of additional acres. Private working forests in the U.S. support 2.5 million jobs. Learn more at nafoalliance.org.