Banded red-cockaded woodpecker in a tree

Forestland Stewards

Launched in 2013, the Forestland Stewards Partnership between International Paper and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and enhances ecologically important forestlands and coastal savannas in ten southern states.

The Forestland Stewards Partnership (Partnership) is designed to:

  • ​Protect and enhance core habitat areas as anchor forests
  • Improve management of private and public forests for environmental and economic needs
  • Restore populations of at-risk wildlife and plant species
  • Improve water and air quality through healthier forests

The Partnership establishes protected wildlife corridors between existing hubs of forestland and assists landowners in improving management practices to enhance the economic and ecological functions of working forests.

Investments made through the Partnership are projected to restore, enhance and protect 586,000 acres of southern pine, oak, woodlands and bottomland hardwood forests once all projects are completed.

Originally, the Partnership targeted three specific landscapes in the United States — the low country of North and South Carolina; the Cumberland Plateau in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia; and the piney woods on the Louisiana-Texas border. Because of the effective conservation successes within these landscapes, the Partnership expanded in 2017 into a fourth landscape, the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, in a concentrated effort to restore and protect bottomland hardwood forests and associated wildlife, including migratory and wading birds, wintering waterfowl, and other terrestrial and aquatic species.

NFWF and International Paper work with partners to solicit and award competitive grants in each of the four targeted geographies of the Partnership. Grant decisions are based on the ability of the applicant to implement strategies that simultaneously achieve habitat, healthy forest, and economic objectives and result in measurable outcomes.​

Funds from the Forestland Stewards Partnership are administered through three NFWF Programs: Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund, Lower MS Alluvial Valley Restoration Fund and the Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund. Learn more about the Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund, the Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund and the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley Restoration Fund to see a list of grants funded with support from the Forestland Stewards partnership since 2019.

Application Information

Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund View Now
Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund View Now
Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley Restoration Fund View Now
Forestland Stewards Infographic Download the PDF
Partnership Fact Sheet Download the PDF
Forestland Stewards 2019 Grant Slate Download the PDF
Forestland Stewards 2018 Grant Slate Download the PDF
Forestland Stewards 2017 Grant Slate Download the PDF
Staff Representatives

Program Director, Southern Forests