Estate planning webinar for region’s forest landowners scheduled for Feb. 24-25

AULANDER, N.C., Jan. 25, 2021 – Estate planning and heirs property – two of the most vexing issues facing forest landowners – is the focus of a free virtual conference that the Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project will convene on Feb. 24-25.

Two North Carolina attorneys with expertise in estate planning and two senior officials with The Conservation Fund – one of the nation’s leading environmental organizations – will be the event’s featured speakers. The webinar, entitled “Get Informed, Make a Plan, Take Action,” will be held as a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic; there is no charge to participate. Here is the registration link:

The conference will feature two sessions as follows:

  • Estate Planning and Heirs Property. 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. ET Feb. 24
    Landowners will learn about steps they can take to establish an estate plan that fits their goals. This session will include a discussion of the potential use of trusts as an ownership vehicle, as well as other ways that landowners can ensure their forestland will remain within the family for multiple generations. Presenters are Mavis Gragg, a Durham-based estate planning attorney and director of the American Forest Foundation’s Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Program; and Pamela Harrigan-Young, an estate planning attorney in Raleigh.
  • Deeds, Leases and Conservation Easements, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. ET Feb. 25. Landowners will learn about strategies and structures that can help them protect their property rights and effectively manage their land. Presenters are Margaret Conrad, capacity builder, resourceful communities for The Conservation Fund; and Peg Kohring, senior associate with The Conservation Fund, a nonprofit organization based in northern Virginia.

“We are excited to be able to offer this webinar and have the caliber of speakers we do,” said Alton Perry, program manager for the Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project. “Typically, the biggest issue facing the families we assist is land ownership rights. Land that has been passed down without a will becomes heirs property and, in many cases, has multiple owners with different interests. This puts the family’s ability to retain the land at risk and makes it more challenging to access technical resources and implement sound forestry practices. Participants in this webinar will come away with actionable recommendations that will have a lasting, positive impact on the control and management of their woodlands.”

This webinar is sponsored through a grant from the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, the N.C. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service. N.C. State Extension Forestry is supporting the webinar logistically. Forest landowners do not have to live in the region to participate. Phone charges and/or data rates may apply if participating via phone or over a mobile network.

The Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project is supported in part by Roanoke Electric Cooperative. The program began in 2013 as a partnership between the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Forest Service and, more recently, the American Forest Foundation. The program works to restore and conserve threatened forestland in Roanoke Electric’s Cooperative’s service area by increasing forest-owner income and land asset values. All landowners owning at least one contiguous eight-acre parcel of woodland are eligible to participate. See for more information on the program.


Contact: Alton Perry, SFLRP Program Manager