Working Lands Trust (WLT), a key advocate for the conservation of North Carolina’s forestry legacy, proudly announces the receipt of a transformative $382,605.62 grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. This generous funding will bolster WLT’s tireless efforts towards forestry stewardship, community empowerment, and the support of military resilience within the Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape.

The awarded grant will underpin an initiative designed to support and bolster opportunities for forestry centric programming within North Carolina’s rural and BIPOC communities. The project will be implemented in collaboration with esteemed partners including the Eastern North Carolina Sentinel Landscape, the North Carolina Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation, the Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project, the Land Loss Prevention Project, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the National Woodland Owners Association.

Michael “Mikey” Fulk, Working Lands Trust Executive Director, expressed her gratitude by stating, “Working Lands Trust is thankful to the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities for the vital support they have provided to aid in our mission of conserving NC’s working forests. This crucial capacity-building funding will enable WLT to provide forestry programming assistance to underserved and Indigenous landowners in our rural communities and ensure equitable community opportunities to enhance and protect their forestry investments.”

The initiative takes a threefold approach: developing community-based working forest conservation programming workshops, aiding in robust retention planning, and coordinating dialogues to reduce barriers for emerging forestry-based conservation practices. Ultimately, the project aims to foster landowner participation in conservation efforts, safeguard forested landscapes, and promote sustainable forestry management.

“Working Lands Trust embodies the spirit of community resilience through sustainable forestry, ensuring that our forests not only thrive but serve as vibrant ecosystems and economic engines”, said Teal Edelen, Program Officer at the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. “Their dedication to community-supported forestry models is a testament to the power of collaboration in safeguarding our natural heritage for generations to come”.

This strategic collaboration emphasizes the importance of cohesive community action to ensure the sustainable management and protection of working forests. The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities’ dedication to systemic change aligns with WLT’s vision of a future where forest-reliant communities thrive through conservation and stewardship.

For more information about Working Lands Trust and its mission, or to learn more about the impact of the grant and the ongoing projects, please contact Michael “Mikey” Fulk at 336-460-2562 or via email at

About Working Lands Trust:
Working Lands Trust is NC’s land trust solely dedicated to conserving North Carolina’s working forests, farms, and supporting the communities that depend on them. By engaging landowners, fostering partnerships, and promoting sustainable practices, WLT endeavors to maintain the ecological integrity and economic viability of these vital landscapes for future generations.

About the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities:
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities is a not-for-profit corporation that works collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance transformative and sustainable change, ensuring the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities.