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Women in the Woods Womens Influence on their Family Forestland

Women in the Woods: Women's Influence on their Family Forestland

biblical landownership women landowners women of the bible Mar 04, 2024

In the heart of the US Southeast, there are vast expanses of what would be considered "non-industrial private forestlands." These are essentially forestlands owned by what we would call average families for their own unique land stewardship goals. Yet, historically, women have been underrepresented in the management of these valuable resources. There are a wide variety of reasons why this may be... but one thing we can say is that women are showing up more and more across the Southeast, even the country, to take on their decision making roles for their family forestlands! And what better time than Women's History Month to explore the importance of women's involvement in family forestland management, their influence on their family forestlands and all around discovering what it is for women in the woods to truly take on their roles for their generational forestlands.

So let's dive into Women in the Woods: Women's Influence on their Family Forestlands! 

"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks." (Proverbs 31:17)

As stewards of God's creation, women have always had a unique role to play in life, and this is just as true in the management of your forestlands. And once women embrace their role of the family forestland decision maker, I've yet to see less determined or harder working individuals for their generational legacy! Proverbs 31 is well known for its vivid description of a wise woman, painting the picture of a capable and resourceful woman who oversees her household with diligence. Women stereotypically are more thoughtful in the deliberation of their decisions, but slow thoughtfulness does not mean carelessness. It's important for you to recognize the invaluable insights, perspectives, and skills women bring to the table of forestland management, even though they may different than male peers.

"She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night." (Proverbs 31:18)

Women's involvement in their family forestland management has a profound impact on conservation efforts! Generally speaking, women are more likely to prioritize conservation practices that promote biodiversity, habitat preservation, and water quality protection. But what I have found more remarkably over the years and years of experience working with women who are taking the reins of their forestlands, is her engrained desire to recognize alternative revenue streams to create a financially sustainable forestland for her family! Women can not only enhance the ecological resilience of these forestlands through their decisions, but also increase the financial profitability to ensure their succession to last generations.

"If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

Despite which side of the family the land is actually passing down through, most women inherit the responsibility to make decisions to manage their family forestlands from their husbands or their parents. That being said, because of the overwhelming weight of responsibility the natural instinct is to do nothing and let someone else handle it at another time. Even though the role may have been thrusted onto you, look towards Esther as a role model of tackling a big challenge you didn't desire to be in charge of. Because like it or not, in the US Southeast, women do have vital role to play in shaping the future of these forestlands. As more and more women inherit the responsibility of their family forestlands, it can be easily concluded that women will ultimately bear the weight of what happens to our vast array of forestlands across the Southeast and even U.S. 

If you've just inherited your family forestland responsibility and wondering what to do now, how to make these decisions... let me recommend our Beginner Landowner Training! Your 3-step training delivered straight to your inbox to help you start taking confident action today. 


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