Community Supported Forestry

Abel Kloster point out restoration work in oak meadow

An alternative forestry is emerging in the Pacific Northwest. A forestry informed by the wisdom and stewardship of Indigenous people. An expansive forestry that includes myriad ecosystems and habitats from old growth conifer forests to oak savannas, from Wapato wetlands, to urban food forests. And a forestry tailored to rekindle community and cultural wellbeing while regenerating the landscapes in which we live. We call this Restoration Forestry. 

Restoration Forestry integrates ecological forestry, habitat regeneration, and agroforestry to bring about both ecological health and the economic and social wellbeing of communities. It combines these practices to address the four-fold challenge of growing regenerative forest and food economies, building climate resilience, enhancing biodiversity, and ensuring diverse, equitable, and inclusive leadership in the sector. Ultimately, the word restoration in the context of Restoration Forestry is meant to invoke a process that leads to the restoration of land, the restoration of communities and economies, and the restoration of cultural traditions.

Our work is to support the adoption of Restoration Forestry in Lane County and we do that through the concept of Community Supported Forestry (CSF). The key to CSF is building coalitions, training forestry practitioners, filling in the gaps in market information, and developing the technics for local, reliable, supply chains of forest products that connect ecological health, rural jobs, and equity in urban spaces. 

Restoration Forestry Business Training

In the winter of 2022/23, we will run a participatory course for forestry practitioners, entrepreneurs, and workers. The course will include training in small business development from an expert in the field. It will also be framed by and infused with decolonial methodologies that center on the fact of settler colonial genocide of Indigenous people in the hope of generating reparative relationships. Further, this course will include training in the technical and ecological skill sets necessary for this burgeoning field. 

It is the ambition of this course to nourish a regional network of practitioners allied in their work and in the collaborative goals of the transformation of the local ecology and economy. 

Please stay tuned for details and fill out the interest form below, if you are interested in learning more about the training.

Workforce Training

We are actively working with South Lane School District and especially Al Kennedy High School to support youth in developing skills for an economy based in ecological stewardship. These programs respond to an identified need for a more skilled workforce in the emergent sector of restoration forestry. It is our hope that workforce training for this sector will include all aspects of land management including surveying and managing woodlots, developing forestlands that produce a diversity of outcomes including fruit, nut, and meat production to lumber, furniture, and biochar production.

Incubator Program

The mission of the residential program is to provide an experience living in an ecologically-friendly, cooperative environment in rural Oregon for up to a two-year residency term that incubates small business development, non-profit projects, right livelihood endeavors, and other mission-aligned projects. The intention is that after the residency at the Center for Rural Livelihoods program members will contribute to regional rural development and become part of a network of initiatives with social and ecological benefits. Residents will live in a rustic 800 sq. ft. two-story cabin and have access to garden beds, 35 acres of forest, and a shop. It is a self-directed program and is part of the Center for Rural Livelihoods’ Community Supported Forestry initiative for regenerative forestlands. The program requires monthly rent and four half-days of work on-site per year plus other minor responsibilities. 

 

Four decades of alumni of the Center for Rural Livelihoods have created a special community at the headwaters of the Willamette Valley. Alumni have left a mark on the unique town of Cottage Grove (a twenty-five-minute drive from Eugene) by starting plant nurseries, construction companies, nonprofits in third world development, a local radio station, a Permaculture design company, a bar and music venue on Main St., eco-forestry businesses, and much else. 

We invite you to jump in. Inquire via email here about openings. You may also fill out the form below. 

Sector Assessment

By the Summer of 2023, we will publish an assessment of the restoration forestry sector freely available on this page. Check back for content.