acquire land on the basis of criteria associated primarily with protection and conservation of land; however, other nonprofit organizations, such as the American Land Conservancy, the Conservation Fund, and the Trust for Public Land, use criteria for land acquisition that largely reflect traditional federal criteria (National Research Council 1993). From 1988 to 1992, 18 nonprofit organizations acquired 249 parcels of land, much of which is forested (totaling 288,000 acres), that were either sold or transferred to a unit of government or were retained and ultimately became nonfederal ownership (GAO 1994b).
Many nonprofit organizations focus on land acquisition; others are shifting from land acquisition to cooperative partnerships for ecosystem conservation. For instance, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation was established by Congress as a private, nonprofit foundation to support U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service activities and related activities. Private and state funds raised are matched by Congress and are spent on land acquisition, research programs education, endangered species recovery, restoration of degraded habitat, and some policy work involving political analyses to assist government agencies and nonprofit organizations in working together to achieve conservation goals. Nonprofit organizations generally seek limited government involvement in their activities; yet, they often seek partnerships with government in protecting and managing sensitive forest ecosystems.
Private-program initiatives on nonfederal forests are reflected in the actions of private-forestry consultants, especially those that focus on private nonindustrial forests. The magnitude of their impact on the latter is highlighted by the activities of the 500 members of the Association of Consulting Foresters. In 1995, association members provided technical forestry advice to nearly 29,000 clients; managed nearly 20 million acres of private forest under long-term agreements; assisted in the sale of $1 billion worth of private timber; and supervised the reforestation of almost 385,000 acres of private forestland. In context, the reforestation represents nearly 38 percent of all nonindustrial private forestland reforested with tree seedlings in 1995. Many forestry consultants favor limited involvement of government in forestry activities. If involvement is desired, it usually is in the form of referrals from governmental agencies or access to information and educational opportunities made available by governmental programs.
Nonfederal forests are affected by the voluntary actions of owners or users of these forests. Undertaken with a spirit of responsible stewardship, many owners act to protect areas of exceptional value in terms of biodiversity or act to apply forest practices that foster resource sustainability (Best and Wayburn 1995). The