Hispanic Forest Landowners Outreach
Despite increasing attention to diversity in forestry, there have been no national studies of racial and ethnic minority family forest owners in the United States. In addition, data and studies about Hispanic forest owners are inadequate. In 2020, mano-Y-ola began Phase I of a survey on Hispanic Forest Landownership in the United States, with the support of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. Phase I of the study was completed in twelve months, with a completion date of November 2021. The goal of Phase 1 was to identify the areas with the most significant potential to conduct impactful outreach towards an HFLO Hub for leadership and land retention. The enumeration results corroborate the need for further study of Hispanic landowners' cultural characteristics and land use. Forest landowner minorities benefit from culturally appropriate and educational outreach efforts to increase generational wealth and expand U.S. private forest land conservation.
We expect that Phase II of the Hispanic Forest Landowners Outreach Hub (HFLO Hub - the name given to this initiative after Phase I) will start in the fall of 2022. A Hispanic Forest Landowner's Trusted Hub (HFLO Hub) represents a team and an entity that provides leadership, best practices, research, support, and training to Hispanic Forest Landowners across the United States.
The primary functions of the HFLO Hub are to:
Develop standards and benchmarks for culturally appropriate outreach
Implement and test capacity-building activities while building a cadre of subject matter experts
Develop the fundraising capacity to sustain the Hub’s mission and vision
In our research, we identified an absolute knowledge gap regarding Hispanic forest landownership. There was not a single source that attempted to generate the number of HFLOs. This necessitated the creation of a predictive model that could identify correlations in the available data to estimate the number of HFLOs nationally.
We identified eight states that show significant historical and statistical indications of HFLO presence. It is in these states that we plan to start our outreach activities and develop an outreach best practice model: see the illustration below. These states present the best opportunity to build leadership, wealth, and sustainable management practices among HFLOs.