Of Alabama's 22.9 million acres of
forestland, about 95 percent is privately
owned. Many of these private forests,
containing many resources and managed for
multiple objectives, are being developed for
housing, retail and manufacturing as the
state's population continues to grow.
Alabama's population increased by more than
eight percent in the 1990s to 4.45 million
people, and is projected to continue to
increase. Although recent data shows an
overall increase of forested area, the
conversion of large areas of Alabama's
forests, including some of our more
environmentally important forests, will
continue as the state's population
In 2000 the Governor appointed the Alabama
Forestry Commission as the state lead agency
to develop and administer a Forest Legacy
Program in Alabama. The purpose of the
Forest Legacy Program (FLP) is to identify
and purchase environmentally important
forestland through the use of conservation
easements and fee purchases. Landowner
participation is entirely voluntary. As
these resources are managed, many
traditional values and uses of the forests
will continue to be available.
Guidelines for the Forest Legacy Program
required the state lead agency to prepare an
Assessment of Need (AON) in consultation
with the Alabama Forest Stewardship Advisory
Committee. An Assessment of Need Steering
Committee was appointed, which worked with
the Alabama Forest Resource Center to
develop the Assessment of Need document. The
AON was completed in September, 2002, and
contains valuable resource information and
measures to identify environmentally
important forestlands that are being
converted to developed urban areas.
The following program objectives were
established to achieve the overall goal of
protecting environmentally important private
forestlands in Alabama threatened by
conversion to non-forest uses:
• Prevent conversions of
forestlands to other uses.
• Preserve and protect fish and wildlife habitats, significant natural
communities, and biological diversity.
• Preserve and protect riparian habitats.
• Preserve and protect water quality, fisheries, and water supplies.
• Preserve and protect natural beauty.
• Preserve and protect forest-based recreation opportunities.
• Preserve forestlands for current and future timber production.
Assessment of Need is a 4.8 mb file
that may take several minutes to
download. Requires Adobe
Acrobat Reader 5 or Higher.
- FY02: $500,000 awarded for
Coon Gulf (Dickson)
property. Property purchased in
- FY04: $2,963,412 awarded for
Mobile-Tensaw Delta (Jacintoport)
ranked 1st in national priority.
- FY05: $1,183,000 awarded for
Mobile-Tensaw Delta (Bayou
Sara) & $1,183,000 awarded for
Cumberland Mountains Preserve.