Dramatic changes are occurring in much of rural America. This is particularly true in our working landscapes of forests and agriculture. Ownership structures are shifting from local or regional to large multi-national organizations with only passing interests in local impacts of their land use like limiting public access, externalizing the costs of sedimentation and other by-products, and perhaps most importantly, conversion and fragmentation of large blocks of working lands. Locally owned community forests offer a unique opportunity to impact this trend in a positive way. Community Forests protect drinking water, provide access, generate revenue through management, store carbon through improved management practices, protect habitat, and if managed creatively, can provide other economic benefits through the evolving recreation economy. They also build community cohesion through a "common cause" sensibility. Local ownership is a profound game changer for rural America. We will present two case studies of the successful creation of community forests using Federal Community Forest and State Revolving Funds (clean water act), one in New England and the other in the Pacific Northwest. These presentations will be lead by the local project managers who lead these efforts along with local community representatives who envisioned then lead the efforts in their communities. We will then talk about continues efforts around fund raising, community involvement and economic development as these communities actualize their visions and will end with an extended Q and A period.