Community Forest Collaborative


Hikers at Cooley Jericho Community Forest in New Hampshire enjoy the view

Community Forests provide a unique model for local forest ownership that generates economic  and social benefits for the community, while at the same time accomplishing land conservation.  As part of the Community Forest Collaborative, The Center is promoting this new model and supporting communities interested in creating Community Forests.

The Community Forest Collaborative is a partnership among the Trust for Public Land, the Northern Forest Center, and the Quebec Labrador Foundation.  Formed in 2005, the Collaborative promotes the development and implementation of Community Forests in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

The Collaborative has described a Community Forest Model that communities can use as a strategy to promote economic development, community development, and working forestland conservation. The Community Forest Model consists of the following components:

  • Community Forests are owned and managed by a municipal entity or by a community based non-profit on behalf of a community.
  • The acquisition process and management structure ensures community participation in and responsibility for management decisions.
  • The community has secure access to the value and benefits of the forest, both monetary and non-monetary, that can support and reinforce community priorities and economic development objectives.
  • The conservation values of the forestland are permanently protected through a conservation easement and sustainable forest management practices.

The Center assists communities that are interested in creating and managing Community Forests.  Recognizing that each community and each project is unique, Center staff can provide a variety of technical support and assistance, such as:

  • Providing introductory information and presentations
  • Helping to assess potential locations and project viability
  • Identifying resources needed for acquisition and management
  • Facilitating New Markets Tax Credit financings to enable an acquisition to occur
  • Facilitating creation of governing bodies and forest management plans.

The Center is working with a number of communities to assist in creating Community Forests, with the most in-depth assistance currently being provided to the following Community Forest projects:

  • Milan Community Forest (Milan, NH)
  • Wrentham Woods Community Forest (Holden, ME)
  • Cooley-Jericho Community Forest (Easton, Franconia, Landaff, Sugar Hill, NH)

In addition, The Center, through its New Markets Tax Credit Program, helped set the stage for what hopefully will become the 21,700-acre West Grand Lake Community Forest in Grand Lake Stream, Maine.

Since its formation in 2005, the Collaborative has helped create the following Community Forests:

  • 13 Mile Woods Community Forest, Errol, NH (7,108 acres)
  • Brushwood Community Forest, Fairlee and West Fairlee, VT (1,055 acres)
  • Page Pond Community forest, Meredith, NH (567 acres)
  • Cooley-Jericho Community Forest Easton, NH (843 acres)
  • Hinesburg Town Forest, Hinesburg, VT (301 acres)
  • Strafford Community Forest, Strafford, NH (868 acres)
  • Albany Town Forest, Albany, NH (310 acres)
  • Canaan Community Forest, Canaan, VT (424 acres)
  • Machias River Community Forest, Machias, ME (925 acres)
  • Barre Town Forest, Barre, VT (370 acres)
  • Sprucewood Forest, Durham, NH (176 acres)

The Community Forest Collaborative is a leading source of research and reports on Community Forests.