Decision-making bodies at all scales face an urgent need to conserve remaining forests, and reestablish forest cover in deforested and degraded forest landscapes. The scale of the need, and the opportunity to make a difference, is enormous. Degradation is often viewed as ‘the problem’, and restoration as ‘the solution’. But, rather than being a goal, restoration is the means to achieve many goals. Forest landscape restoration is an active, long-term process to regain ecological integrity and enhance human well-being when forest cover, forest qualities and forest-based contributions to people are diminished. Despite the many advances in the development and application of decision support tools in FLR, this review reveals a gap in tools for the implementation of landscape-scale restoration initiatives and for guiding monitoring and adaptive management. The review also reveals that available tools primarily focus on assessing restoration opportunities at a broader scale, rather than within landscapes where implementation occurs. Evidence from research on community-based conservation and forest management suggests that tools for the empowerment, land rights and capacity building of local residents can help nurture strong coalitions of landscape restoration practitioners that apply adaptive management of restoration interventions, and evaluate potential restoration scenarios in their own landscapes.