Forestland Stewards: a partnership for improving our forests
By partnering with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), International Paper (IP) is able to make greater use of our knowledge and technological resources to protect the forests and natural environments near our communities and operations. For over a decade, our collaboration has supported numerous projects to conserve and restore unique North American ecosystems that have been slowly changed by the human expansion across the continent. It’s vital that these ecosystems are cared for, not just for their natural beauty, but for the role they play in cleaning water, promoting biodiversity and filtering the air we breathe.
In 2022, IP and NFWF announced a five-year extension of our Forestland Stewards partnership, with IP committing $10 million to the cause. Now entering its second decade, FSP has funded 156 projects across twelve states that will restore, enhance or protect more than 1.2 million acres of forest habitat once all projects are completed.
The Forestland Stewards Partnership began in 2013, when International Paper made its first five-year commitment of $7.5 million to restore, protect and enhance Southern pine, oak and savanna woodlands across eight southern states. In 2017, FSP pledged to increase its contribution to $10 million over an additional five years. The partnership will exceed its original ten-year goal, with more than 1.2 million acres restored, enhanced and protected once all projects are completed. Combined with the 600,000-acre goal for this third five-year agreement, this will eventually contribute to the conservation of over 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat.
Past projects have targeted four specific landscapes in the United States — the coastal plain forests of North and South Carolina; the Cumberland Plateau region in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia; the piney woods on the Louisiana-Texas border; and the seven-state region of the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, which includes portions of Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. The next decade will see the partnership expand conservation efforts to include the coastal plain and piedmont forests of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Virginia.
Download an infographic that summarizes the partnership's achievements.