In the United States, examples of forest owner co-ops date back to the early 20th century. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was a renewed interest by forest owners in cooperatives not only in the Upper Midwest but also in the Northeast, Northwest, and parts of the South.
Forestry cooperatives provide a range of services to members, including land stewardship education, development of woodland management plans, sustainable harvesting, processing, and marketing, among others. These organizations strive to provide their members with a return equal to or greater than what they would get from a traditional timber buyer, while at the same time maintaining or improving the ecological and aesthetic condition of their woods.
Examples of Forestry Cooperatives
Partners in Forestry Landowner Cooperative serves north central Wisconsin and the western upper peninsula of Michigan. The cooperative is dedicated to providing information, educational opportunities, and sustainable forest management for its members.
Southern Loggers Cooperative
Cooperative Forestry Funding
UW Center for Cooperatives supports the development of Wisconsin-based cooperatives or cooperative groups (e.g. associations, networks, informal collaborations) in these areas:
- Forest management
- Forest-related products
- Biomass energy
- Forest-owner policy initiatives
- Support for existing forestry cooperatives or associations
See our Cooperative Forestry Funding page for more information.
A Cooperative Approach to Growing the Forestry and Wood Products Industry. CFAES Center for Cooperatives, 2020.
The Role of Cooperatives in Forestry. Dovetail Partners, Inc., 2015.
Forest Owner Cooperation in the Upper Midwest: Overview and Lessons Learned, 1998-2012. Cooperative Development Services, 2013.
A Brief Reflection on Forestry Cooperatives in the US. UW Center for Cooperatives, 2004.
Sustainable Forestry Cooperatives in the Midwest. UW Center for Cooperatives, 2002.