Forestland Stewards, a new partnership between International Paper and NFWF, will protect and enhance ecologically important forestlands and coastal savannas in eight southern states. The program is designed to:
- Protect and enhance core habitat areas as anchor forests.
- Improve management of private and public forests for environmental and economic needs.
- Restore populations of at-risk wildlife and plant species.
- Improve water and air quality through healthier forests.
International Paper and NFWF will work with a variety of stakeholders—private landowners, government agencies and conservation groups—to develop science-based conservation business plans that will restore more than 200,000 acres of southern pine, oak and woodlands.
The program will establish protected wildlife corridors between existing hubs of forestland and assist landowners in improving management practices to enhance the economic and ecological functions of working forests.
Forestland Stewardswill launch conservation projects in three regions: the low country of North and South Carolina, the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee and Alabama, and the piney woods on the Louisiana-Texas border. International Paper has 28 facilities located in these regions, affording IP employees an opportunity to participate in hands-on conservation work in their local areas.
NFWF and IP will work with partners to solicit and award competitive grants in each of the three targeted geographies of this new partnership. Grant decisions will be based on the ability of the applicant to implement strategies that simultaneously achieve habitat, healthy forest and economic objectives and result in measurable outcomes.