Southern Forests Network


The Southern Forests Network is a community of people, organizations, and businesses working to conserve private forestlands and cultivate sustainable forest-based economies in the South. We believe that the key to conserving our landscape, our forest-based heritage, and our rural economies lies in facilitating forest management that is ecologically responsible, economically sound, and socially just.


Southern forests are among the most ecologically and economically productive forests in the world. In many Southern communities, forests dominate our landscape, economies, and culture.

We believe that the key to conserving our landscape, our heritage, and our rural economies lies in conserving our forests, managing them sustainably to produce high-value forest products, and establishing strong regional markets for local value-added wood products.

Today, development pressures, changes in the forest products industry, and declining forest health are creating uncertainty about the future of our forests. In many cases, forest management is maximizing ecological costs while minimizing the economic and social benefits to landowners, workers, and communities.

Southern forests:

  • harbor some of the greatest wildlife diversity in the world- but are also home to more threatened forest ecosystems than any other region in the US
  • provide clean water, clean air, and other ecosystem services- but none of us have to pay for them, and landowners aren’t paid for providing them
  • are the world's largest producer of timber, producing more timber each year than any other region in America or any other country in the world- yet local communities do not benefit from this resource as much as they should
  • are owned primarily by families and individuals who care about the land- but they face the greatest development pressures on forests anywhere in the US

The Southern Forests Network works to address these conditions by facilitating the development of sustainable forest economies throughout the South.

Sustainable forest economies rely first on restoring and maintaining healthy forest ecosystems, second on managing forests to produce useful goods or services, and third on ensuring economic and social justice for landowners and the people who make their living from the forest.

We are working to:

  • Create active partnerships among landowners, forestry professionals, local forest products businesses, conservation organizations, state and federal agencies, educational and research institutions, and economic development organizations.
  • Provide landowners with tools and resources that help them practice sustainable forestry and realize greater benefits from their forestland.
  • Enhance rural economies through local value-added processing of sustainable forest products.
  • Develop markets for local & sustainable forest products.


Building Markets for Sustainable & Local Forest Products:

SFN works to develop market opportunities for sustainable local forest products (including non-timber products and forest ecosystem services) and support the development of forest-based enterprises.

Organizing for Community Forestry:

SFN works with individuals and organizations to explore issues and strategies, develop collaborative projects, build local capacity, and support innovative leaders.

Contact Southern Forests Network

PO Box 941
Asheville, North Carolina  28802
Phone: 828-277-9008


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator