Rural Action Sustainable Forestry program seeks to conduct forest farming site visits

Rural Action Sustainable Forestry program seeks to conduct forest farming site visits

THE PLAINS, Ohio – Rural Action’s Sustainable Forestry Program in partnership with Appalachian Sustainable Development, is pleased to announce that they have been awarded funding through the NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant program to assist forest landowners in Ohio and Northern West Virginia who are interested in forest farming, sustainable forest management, and developing a forest management plan for their property. 

The goal of this project is to help landowners develop forest management plans that support the production and management of high-value Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP’s), such as ginseng, goldenseal, ramps, and mushrooms. 

According to Andrea Miller, Rural Action’s Sustainable Forestry Program Manager, “NTFP species, such as American ginseng, black cohosh and goldenseal, are becoming increasingly rare in the wild due to overharvesting and habitat loss. Unfortunately, as these species are declining, the demand for these types of herbal products is steadily increasing. Forest farming provides landowners with the opportunity to sustainably cultivate these species in their forests, generate supplemental income, and reduce harvest pressure on wild populations.” 

During the site visit process, landowners will have the opportunity to walk their property with Rural Action Sustainable Forestry Staff to identify both forest farming and traditional management opportunities, evaluate potential NTFP production sites, and discuss strategies to grow their forest farming enterprise and achieve their management goals.

According to Tanner Filyaw, Rural Action’s Sustainable Forestry Program Director, “This type of planning assistance can help forest landowners better understand their existing forest assets, identify new management opportunities, or expand an existing NTFP enterprise.”

Rural Action is a regional community development organization with a 32-county footprint working with members and community leaders on a range of quality of life, environmental, and economic projects across rural Appalachian Ohio. Its mission is to build a more just economy by developing the region’s assets in environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways. Learn more about Rural Action at www.ruralaction.org