About ForestHer NC
The ForestHer NC mission is to support, educate, and empower
a community of women landowners and natural resources professionals
to engage in forest conservation and stewardship in North Carolina.
Our vision is healthy and sustainable forest ecosystems across North Carolina.
Why have programs dedicated to women woodland owner outreach and education? Why not just invite everyone to a forestry workshop, and leave gender out of the equation? Well for one, statistically, the percentage of family forest ownership where a woman is the primary decision maker doubled from 2006 to 2013. And, these women make decisions for 44 million acres of North America’s family forest land, or 16% of all of the family forest land. This does not take into account decisions made by joint ownerships.
Additionally within joint ownership, women will likely make the final land-use decisions. In the US, women tend to outlive men, with a life expectancy of 81.2 years, while men live 76.4 years on average. This means that it is likely that final land use decisions, including selling or dividing land, will be made by women (Butler, et al., 2017).
However, with all that being said, studies have shown that many women feel like they are not equipped to manage their forestland. A 2017 study showed that women are significantly more likely to have taken NO management actions on their wooded land in the past 5 years.
When asking why, many women say things like:
‘I feel like I don’t have the right knowledge or skills.’
‘I feel out of place [in this male-dominated field].’
‘There are too many competing priorities.’
‘I don’t know where to start.’
The goal of ForestHer NC is to work to empower and educate women so that they feel empowered to take on stewardship of their land.
In January 2019, a team of natural resource professionals and private forest landowners gathered to establish the ForestHer NC program. This team was composed of representatives from a broad cross-section of the natural resource community with interest or experience in leading women-focused conservation programs. As establishment of the program progressed, this leadership team decided to create a smaller Executive Board, with equal representation of program partners and landowners, to oversee the day-to-day operations of the program and serve as the governing body of the program. Upon establishment of the new Executive Board, the initial leadership team was dissolved. Team members were invited and encouraged to remain involved in the program through committee work and other opportunities.
Our Partnering Organizations
Partnering agencies of ForestHer NC support the organization through volunteering staff time on the ForestHer Executive Board. Any conservation agency or organization may become a new program partner by vote of the Executive Board.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
ForestHer NC is committed to fostering a community that is open to all.
We use the following definitions for internal use and guidance when planning program activities, and will serve as the basis of understanding, common language, and framework within the program.
All the ways in which groups of people differ and make us unique. This can include diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, experience, education, physical and
neurological ability, among others. Some forms of diversity may be visible, and some may not, but is something that can be quantified.
Ensuring that every person has what they need to thrive. The fair and just treatment of people by recognizing that some people need access to specific resources that may not be required by others.
Creating an experience that makes each person, across diverse backgrounds, feel that they are welcome and belong. Those who possess underrepresented social identities are given the power to participate fully, including being invited to lead. Inclusion is something that is felt.