central appalachian forestry alliance (cafa)
The Central Appalachian Forestry Alliance is a network of organizations, led by MACED, Rural Action and Appalachian Sustainable Development in direct collaboration with many others, aiming to promote a stronger forest-based economy and healthier forests in the region.
The Central Appalachian region is densely forested and biologically rich. Private ownership dominates the region, with roughly 90 percent of forests being privately owned in parcels averaging 30 acres. Forest industries are major economic players in all five states. Forest management is sparse, forest health is tenuous and the forest products industry continues to struggle. Solutions are needed that generate new income, respect rural livelihoods, strengthen the forest products sector and improve forest health and resilience.
CAFA aims to work toward three overarching outcomes:
1. Increased forest management.
2. Greater income for landowners and forest workers.
3. Stronger forest-based enterprises.
CAFA is pursuing five specific strategies to advance these outcomes:
1. Provide a wood products, market-linking business infrastructure to connect locally and regionally owned wood product producers with demand for local and certified wood products in and near the region.
2. Develop the Center for Forest and Wood Certification for businesses and landowners in conjunction with key industry partners.
3. Generate offset revenue from the voluntary carbon markets to incent land management and create new income for landowners.
4. Expand support for non-timber forest products (NTFP) production (particularly ginseng) and sales by private landowners, to promote managed lands and new sources of income.
5. Encourage the Appalachian Regional Commission to invest in a regional sustainable forestry effort aimed at supporting healthy forest industries and forest lands.