FLA is a leading advocate promoting the rights of all private landowners—regardless of size, corporate structure, location, certification status, or tax classification.
FLA's guiding principles identify three areas of concern that jeopardize Private Forests and the people who own them. They are:
- Erosion of Private Property Rights and Excessive Regulation
Principle:FLA believes that human society cannot reap the numerous benefits of forests without secure private property rights.
- Tax Policy
Principle: FLA believes federal tax policies based on equality and certainty are required to encourage the nation’s private forest landowners to make sustained, long-term capital investments in forest management.
- Access to Free and Open Markets
Principle:FLA believes that the maintenance of free and open markets is vital to the preservation of private forests.
FLA's efforts to protect, promote, and advocate for all private landowners expand beyond lobbying for property rights to telling their story to policy makers in terms of economic impact, jobs created, family legacy and great stewards of the resource.
Standing Strong For You
For 70 years, we’ve stood tall for the rights of America’s forest owners, guarding and promoting your rights to manage your lands. Along with victory after legislative victory, we’ve earned the trust of generations of landowners.
Since 1941, FLA has provided its members, who own and operate more than 40 million acres of forestland in 48 states, with education, information, and national grassroots advocacy, which enables them to sustain their forestlands across generations. FLA’s outreach on behalf of private forest landowners nationwide enhances their forestland management practices and stewardship, and provides peace of mind that they have an advocate working to bring them richly deserved compensation for their work that safeguards America’s forestlands.
FLA provides advice, support and information to policy makers, educating them on how proposed legislation could affect private forest management, stewardship and owners’ rights. We continually represent forest owners’ interests.
Our hearts are in the forests, but our feet are on the streets of D.C. and state capitals, because that’s where we need to be to protect our members’ rights. Politicians will always have their fiery debates, but we’ll be there to keep you from getting burned.
Interactive Timline »
Forest Landowners Association was founded as Forest Farmers Association in 1941 in Jacksonville by a group of timberland owners who wanted a stronger voice in matters affecting their business. Founders included W.M Oettmeier Sr., and Judge Harley Langdale, Sr. The 1940s was a time when the best interests of timberland owners were threatened by unfavorable legislative action in Congress. Founder, W.M. Oettmeier, was forcibly reminded that through united efforts private ownership of forestlands could move onto its proper place in the southern economy.
The result of meeting held in 1940 by several forest landowners was the organization of the Forest Farmers Association Cooperative chartered by the state of Georgia on February 21, 1941. The organization originally was chartered to "operate in the southern region as a non-profit organization, organized for the purpose of furthering the interests of owners of timbered lands in every legitimate manner”. The city of Valdosta was designated as the principal city of business of the Association and the incorporating directors were:
W. M. Oettmeier, Fargo, Georgia
A. V. Kennedy, Waycross, Georgia
S. J. Hall, Jacksonville, Florida
H. M. Wilson, Jacksonville, Florida
Harley Langdale, Sr., Valdosta, Georgia