Current Projects

Community Forest Program Tribal Outreach

With funding from the USDA Forest Service and matching support from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, First Nations’ Community Forest Program Tribal Outreach project provides support and resources to tribal entities in the Northern Great Plains and Southwest regions that are seeking to acquire or establish community forests.

Through this project, First Nations is hosting informational webinars and developing resources to help tribal entities interested in applying for funding through the USDA Forest Service’s Community Forest Program. In addition, at least three selected federally recognized tribes and qualified nonprofits will receive targeted technical assistance in developing project proposals for this funding opportunity.

Federally recognized tribes, qualified nonprofits, and local governments that are interested in establishing community forests that provide a variety of community benefits are eligible to apply for the USDA Forest Service grant.

  • Learn more about the USDA Forest Service’s Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program.
  • Keep an eye on this page for future resources and support opportunities specifically created for interested tribes and tribal entities.
  • Stay informed about resources developed through this project — Join our mailing list by entering your name and email below.
  • Scroll down for information on the Community Forest Program Webinar Series.


This webinar series is designed to help tribal entities interested in applying for funding through the USDA Forest Service’s annual Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (Community Forest Program) grant opportunity.

The first webinar was held in November 2020, and additional webinars will be featured in 2021. Information and links to presentation materials are listed below.

Webinar Descriptions and Materials

Webinar 1: Community Forest Program Opportunities for Tribes and Native-led Conservation Organizations
Tribes and Native-led 501(c)3 conservation organizations are eligible to apply for funding through the USDA to establish a community forest. The funding can cover up to 50% of costs to purchase forested lands in fee simple acquisitions for community benefit. In this one-hour webinar and Q&A session, participants will learn how the USDA Community Forest Program works and how to write and submit an application. Topics include:

  • Program background and purpose
  • Eligibility
  • Application process
  • Example projects
  • Technical assistance opportunities

Access the November 18, 2020, recording and PowerPoint presentation here.

About the Presenter

Mary Adelzadeh (Navajo) has extensive experience working with tribes, federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations in natural resource planning, tribal community engagement, and facilitating collaborative management efforts. Mary is an advocate for preserving Native American values and customs tied to land and advancing economic opportunities to enhance tribal natural resources. Currently, Mary is assisting the Maidu Summit Consortium’s effort to establish a Maidu Cultural Park through restoration projects and development of a land management plan and impact assessment that integrates Maidu Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Western science. Mary also works with First Nations Development Institute as a contractor to support the Northern Great Plains Mapping Ecological Stewardship Opportunities project, serving tribes in Montana. Mary earned a MS degree with a specialization in conservation biology and ecosystem management from the University of Michigan, as well as a B.S. degree in Environmental Biology and Management with an emphasis in wildlife conservation from UC Davis.