Sustainable Forest & Land Retention

McIntosh S.E.E.D.

Transforming Communities By Transforming Lives

McIntosh SEED’s rural community development work begins with engagement, education and empowerment of community members. When scaffolded with opportunities for economic development that is locally-owned and locally controlled, along with infrastructure improvements, communities are becoming more resilient and self-sustaining.

Sustainable Forest & Land Retention

McIntosh SEED, based in Darien, has received a grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to implement the Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention (SFLR) program. This program is an effort to promote forest health and productivity and to help stem the loss of African American-owned rural land.

The SFLR program was launched in 2012 as an effort to aid African American landowners in turning their forested properties into economic assets. The program capitalizes on innovative partnerships between local, state, and federal organizations to assist landowners in this process. SFLR provides a variety of support to these landowners, including access to legal assistance and opportunities for sustainable forestry. The program supports seven project sites across seven states and more than 1,300 landowners. The participants own a combined 8,300 acres, ensuring land assets remain held by historical landowners.

The US Forest Service and the Natural Resource Conservation Service partnered with the U.S. Endowment on this new forest management program.  The SFLR program invested in McIntosh SEED to help restore and secure ownership of threatened African American-owned forest land and to improve the value and productivity of such land through sustainable forestry practices.

Goal: Create an enduring system of support for African-American forest owners that significantly increases the profitability and value of African-American forests and promote forest retention.

Landowner Testimonials

McIntosh S.E.E.D. Landowner Handbook

This handbook contains information and resources for landowners, organizations, or individuals interested in increasing knowledge concerning land management and sustainability. It is also a workbook designed to help you organize your affairs as they relate to your family landholdings.

Matilda Riles and Herman Baker are land owners and tree farmers who have worked with McIntosh S.E.E.D. They speak on the impact that McIntosh S.E.E.D. has had in their community.

McIntosh SEED, DS Smith and the Georgia Forestry Association partnered to sponsor 4 landowners’ attendance at the 2022 Annual Georgia Forestry Association Conference, which was held on Jekyll Island. The conference included state-wide officials, organizations, and businesses in the forest industry. Educational sessions featured regional, state and national perspectives on timber, housing, and carbon markets, along with current and future implications for Georgia landowners, loggers, and mills.




Photo L to R: Landowners Lloyd Byrd, Steve Fowler (DS Smith), Janice Smith, Herman Baker, Chad Smith.