Updates & Blog

Forest Service partners with southern states to keep forests working, conserve 31K acres of private forestland

Region 8 – Forest Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Couple walking in the woods.

ATLANTA,  June 29, 2023 – Today, the Forest Service announced that 31,000 acres in the Southern Region will be conserved thanks to nearly $40 million in Forest Legacy Program funding. Nine projects across six Southern states have been prioritized to receive funding. These investments ensure the most critical forestlands will continue to provide benefits to people and communities, like recreation opportunities, vibrant local economies, and thriving ecosystems. 

This is part of a larger announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service to provide $188 million in funding through the Forest Legacy Program to conserve more than 245,000 acres of some of the most ecologically significant forestlands across the nation, maintaining intact working forests while supporting local economies.

The conservation of these forests is made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund, as well as the Inflation Reduction Act, which is investing $700 million in the Forest Legacy Program over the next ten years to conserve forest resources that are critical to the social, physical, and economic wellbeing of people and communities.

In addition, the Forest Service is announcing $250 million in available funding for 2024 through the Inflation Reduction Act. States can apply for this funding to conserve additional forestlands deemed critical to local communities. 

In all, nine Forest Legacy Program projects in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia were funded through today’s announcement. 2023 Forest Legacy Projects funded included:

  • Arkansas: $6 million for the Maumelle Water Excellence project, $1.475 million for the Hot Springs Forest project and $1.45 million for the White River Headwaters Preserve project
  • Florida: $9 million for the Wolfe Creek Forest project
  • Georgia: nearly $2 million for the Suwannee River Headwaters Forest project
  • Mississippi: $7 million for the Wolf River Forest Conservation project and $535,000 for the Pearl River Conservation Corridor project
  • South Carolina: $4 million for the Southern Coastal Biodiversity project
  • Virginia: $7 million for the Southern Shenandoah Borderlands project