Landscapes of Finance: Time, Timber, and the Fate of US Forest-Dependent Communities


ACLS Fellowship Program




With changes to US federal tax law during the 1970s and 1980s, many large forest products companies found it financially beneficial to divest of their landholdings. As a result, tens of millions of acres of privately-owned industrial forestland changed hands, with the majority being acquired by a new class of investor-owners. “Landscapes of Finance” examines the changing experience of everyday life in rural timber-dependent communities as a new class of investor-owners have come to own the majority of private timberland in many parts of the country, managing that land with different aims and temporalities than their longstanding predecessors. The project uses ethnographic (interviews, participant observation, anonymous storytelling) and archival data to document modern-day socio-ecological relationships with financialized timberland, situating these relationships within a longer history of timber company towns.