Special to 1812Blockhouse

The American Forest Foundation (AFF) announced today the expansion of the Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP), a partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), into Ohio. The program will equip family landowners with financial and technical support to improve the health, value, and resilience of their forests. 

84% of Ohio’s forests are privately owned, and nearly half are owned in parcels of 50 acres or less, making family forest owners a critical partner in stewarding the long-term health and wellbeing of the state’s natural resources. FFCP’s expansion into Ohio will expand access to improved forest management practices on 1.8 million acres of eligible land.  

“Ohio’s family landowners play a crucial role in caring for health and resilience of the majority of the state’s forests,” said Ian Forte, Senior Forestry Manager for the Family Forest Carbon Program at AFF“But the high costs and technical know-how needed for sustainable forest management practices often stop these landowners from being able to implement them. The expansion of FFCP into the state helps put the power of conservation into the hands of these family forest owners.” 

FFCP issues annual payments to help landowners implement forest management practices scientifically demonstrated to improve forest health, provide additional financial and ecological benefits for rural communities, and enhance carbon capture and storage. The program also provides access to professional foresters that help landowners write a forest management plan tailored to their specific property. 

“It is very exciting that through this program we are bringing the next generation, and even the grandchildren, into the process around woodland conservation, the link between healthy forests and the climate, and their role,” David Funk, the first Ohio-based landowner enrolled in the Family Forest Carbon Program. “Our family’s participation in FFCP is a formal recognition that Southeastern Ohio’s woods are to be treasured.” 

Forest carbon projects like FFCP help landowners diversify their revenue streams from their property and increase the long-term value of their forest and forest products. Without access to every conservation solution available, Ohio’s forests and the industries that rely on them face a steady decline that will affect communities and wildlife alike. 

“So many woodland owners just want to do what’s right,” said Tom Rooney, Sustainable Forestry Director at The Nature Conservancy in Ohio. “This program is designed to provide the funding and technical expertise to help keep their forests healthy for years to come.” 

The carbon generated by landowners enrolled in the program is measured and verified by a new forest carbon accounting methodology that improves accuracy and transparency for the marketplace. By measuring the difference between similar forests, the methodology pinpoints the program as the variable that created additional carbon benefit on enrolled landowners’ properties. 

To learn more about the program and landowner eligibility, visit familyforestcarbon.org.

Source: American Forest Foundation

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