Preserving, managing and improving the health of forest ecosystems worldwide will require equitable leadership and participation from both women and men. Understanding gendered motivations to conserve forest ecosystems may contribute to the design of programs that enable sustainable management and use of forest benefits. This study examines the motivations for willingness to participate in forest conservation activities in Lower Tana River forest. The study focuses on gender differentiated personal values for conserving the forest and uses the laddering technique. The study reveals that gender roles are important in choice of forest conservation practice. Women indicate that preserving the biodiversity is important as well as monitoring illegal harvesting of forest products. Easy access to fuel, agricultural production is of paramount important for women. On the other hand, men plant trees and control forest fires to increase their household income. However, tree planting is important for both women and men. The trees planted are for commercial purposes and less environment friendly. The study discusses policy implications. Although men and women have different roles and responsibilities, their desires or values are more or less similar. For instance, they both value security, comfortable and exciting life, good health, being helpful and happiness. Women are unique in the sense that they want to be independent in life while men want the sense of responsibility.