FAQs Forestry

What is the Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project?

This is a program that is designed to address forestry land loss in the African-American community. The focus of this project is to demonstrate that through the use of sustainable forest management with the support of governmental and private natural resource agencies and organizations, and the regional timber industry, African-American landowners are able to retain their lands, generate income, and maintain healthy and productive forests for generations.

Is this program for African Americans only?

Although the project focus is to reach African-American landowners, the project is available to all landowners in 13 counties: Bertie, Chowan, Edgecombe, Gates, Granville, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Nash, Northampton, Perquimans, Vance and Warren.

Who administers this program?

The project is being administered through the Roanoke Center also known as Roanoke Economic Development Incorporated (REDI) in Rich Square NC, which is a non-profit subsidiary of the Roanoke Cooperative.

Where does the money for this project come from?

This project is funded by grants from the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the American Forest Foundation. Supporting partners are the USDA Forest Service, The Conservation Fund, the NC Forest Service, the NC Department of Agriculture, CoBank, NC Tree Farm Program, Ag Carolina Farm Credit, and AgFirst Farm Credit.

What is the benefit to landowners in participating in this project?

Landowners will gain valuable knowledge on what assistance is available to those who own forestland. Other benefits include:

  • Engaging with state, federal, and county agencies to receive technical assistance on forest management.
  • Receiving education on private forestry professionals who can assist with timber sales and learning how the use of these private foresters will ensure landowners receive fair market value for their timber products.
  • Promotion of forestland, family legacy, and healthy and productive forests with many financial, environmental, and social benefits which can be sustained for generations.
  • Learning about federal and county property tax reductions due to deferments associated with forest management.
  • Being eligible for financial assistance in obtaining legal services from an attorney to clear property title, establish a legal mechanism such as a limited liability company
    (LLC) or partnership, etc., to manage a family-owned property, resolve heirs’ property issues, and/or create an estate plan to provide for orderly succession or transfer of property upon one’s passing.
What are the requirements to participate in the project?

You must be a landowner in Bertie, Chowan, Edgecombe, Gates, Granville, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Nash, Northampton, Perquimans, Vance, or Warren County. Your property must contain at least one area with a minimum of 8 acres of forestland.

How do I get into the project and is there a cost to participate in the project?

Landowners can get details about the project by calling (252) 539-4614 or Director Alton Perry's Email, or Administrative Assistant Sherwynn Best, email There is no project registration fee or fee to participate in the project. However, there are costs associated with forest management for which you may receive financial assistance from various agency funds. Examples are costs to develop forest management plans and reforestation costs to establish the next forest after a tree harvest. These costs are not paid to the project but to an agency or private contractor for services provided.

What is the Legal Assistance Costs Reimbursement component?

The Legal Assistance Costs Reimbursement component is a part of the Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project that provides grant-funded reimbursement to project participants who acquire legal services, as needed, through local attorneys to address land ownership issues and/or to develop estate plans to provide for orderly succession or transfer of property.