Sustainably managed forests are critical to industries like ours that depend on a steady supply of quality fiber. That’s one reason why WestRock invests in programs and partnerships that provide resources, education and incentives to enable family landowners to manage their land. More importantly, we invest to help ensure a family’s forestland is a financial asset, not a burden, to be passed along to future generations.
We spoke to Lowcountry landowner Jacqueline Fields whose great-great-grandfather acquired land once emancipated after 22 years of slavery. By working with The Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation®, Jacqueline has been able to maintain rights to her property and unlock the economic potential so that the land can become a source of income for her family.
The Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation®, based in Charleston, S.C., is advancing social equity through sustainable forestry. The organization assists underserved landowners to take control of their land and utilize it to build generational wealth for their families through equitable land management.
In Jacqueline’s case, the Center connected her with David Bourgeois, a forester who helps landowners determine how to make their property more profitable and work more efficiently. Through the Center, they secured funding to thin her trees, jumpstarting the forest to make it grow faster. Now that it is on a new growth trajectory, Jacqueline will be able to harvest the land much sooner than expected and increase the value of her property over time.
Together, we will deliver on the promise of a sustainable future as we Innovate boldly. Package sustainably.™