The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund Announces its 2022 Grant Recipients

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (September 20, 2022)

Greenville, SC and Bethesda, MD – The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund (the Fund) today announced the recipients of its 2022 grants. The projects funded this year will help conserve more than 3,000 acres and protect ecologically sensitive bottomland hardwood forests in the Virginia-North Carolina coastal plains.

Including those announced today, the Fund has awarded 29 projects totaling more than $3,100,000 in grants over the past seven years. An estimated 33,000 acres will be protected when these projects reach completion. The forests conserved as a part of the Fund help clean drinking water, purify the air, buffer structures from storms, and provide habitat for many species of wildlife, while at the same time, providing jobs and economic opportunity for rural families and private landowners.

“The fund is well on its way to achieving its initial goal to protect over 35,000 acres of sensitive bottomland hardwood forests across Virginia and South Carolina,” said Thomas Meth, President of Enviva. “With more than three years left in the program, the Fund is poised to partner with more and more diverse conservation groups as well as supersede our commitment to long-term investments in forest stewardship for generations to come.”

The 2022 Enviva Forest Conservation Fund grant recipients include:

The Tar River Land Conservancy: Tar River Land Conservancy aims to purchase the Bowers Tract, consisting of 244 forested acres and 60 acres of agricultural upland fields. Fifty-four percent (219 acres) of the property is situated within the 100-year-old floodplain of Swift Creek, a major tributary of the Tar River. Adjoining the property, Swift Creek provides a habitat for numerous rare, threatened, and endangered aquatic species, including the federally protected Carolina Madtom, Tar River Spiny Mussel, and Neuse River Waterdog.

A section of the Bowers Tract

Three Rivers Land Conservancy: Three Rivers Land Conservancy aims to acquire 440 acres of bottomland hardwood forest adjacent to the Little River and Uwharrie National Forest in Montgomery County, North Carolina. The Little River Buffer and Cliffs natural areas are located on the property. Federally endangered Northern Long Eared Bat and the threatened Oak Toad, Alewife, and Blue Back Herring are all present within this forest acreage.

Little River in Montgomery County, North Carolina

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation: The Virginia Outdoors Foundation aims to acquire the Turner Tract which lies on the state scenic Nottoway River near Cary’s Bridge. This tract contains 134 acres of bottomland hardwoods (111 acres of general hardwoods and 23 acres of Cypress-Tupelo) which will be designated as “old growth” as well as hundreds of acres of working forest. This land contributes to the protected corridor on the Nottoway River and its conservation will support the effort to protect this unique and fragile Virginia resource with a “National Wild and Scenic River” designation. The balance of the tract will remain in working forest and/or agricultural use.

A section of the Turner Tract

The Conservation Fund: The Conservation Fund will protect 1,915 acres dominated by native bottomland hardwoods, forested wetlands, and loblolly pine along the Nottoway River in Sussex County, Virginia. This project will add to the corridor of protected land along the Nottoway River with 3.5 miles of frontage along the Nottoway where federally endangered Roanoke Logperch and Dwarf Wedge Mussel are found. The property also features 2.5 miles of frontage on Black Branch Swamp, where over 220 acres of forested wetlands and 400 acres of bottomland hardwoods reside. Sustainable forest management and restoration to native longleaf pine and pine savanna on the property will help create a habitat for endangered species such as the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker. Once transferred to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, the property will be open for hunting, hiking, fishing, boating, and wildlife watching.

Forest along the Nottoway River in Sussex County, Virginia

Ducks Unlimited: Ducks Unlimited aims to acquire a total of 292 acres in Bertie and Gates counties in North Carolina, under two separate tracts – the Crawford Tract and the Gasking Swamp Tract. The Crawford Tract is home to the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker and will expand the adjacent (on 3 sides) Chowan Swamp Game Land, which is located in one of the most important river basins for anadromous fishes in North Carolina. The Gasking Swamp Tract will expand the adjacent Bertie County Game Land, which helps protect portions of the Cashie River Swamps’ small creeks, floodplain wetlands, and Significant Natural Heritage Areas. These tracts provide important travel corridors for black bears along the Cashie River and are recognized as a “Global Important Bird Area.”

Gasking Swamp Tract – Tidal Swamp Forest

Crawford Tract – Nonalluvial Mineral Wetland

“The Endowment continues to support the efforts of the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund. These long-term investments promote conservation, biological diversity, and ecosystem sustainability in these areas of North Carolina and Virginia,” said Teal Edelen, Program Officer at the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. “These grants support sources of clean air and water, protect threatened wildlife and plant life, and provide great opportunities for recreation in these areas.”

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About the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund

The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is a $5 million, 10-year program established by Enviva in December 2015 to protect environmentally sensitive bottomland and wetland forests. Administered by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the Fund awards grants annually to nonprofit organizations and government agencies for conservation projects. Learn more at http://envivaforestfund.org.

About the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities. To learn more about the Endowment, please visit our website at www.usendowment.org.

For more information, contact:

Brandon Walters, Communications and Administrative Coordinator at the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. 864.233.7646; brandon@usendowment.org.

U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities Announces Membership of the Forest and Wood Products Inclusion Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (July 28, 2022)

Greenville, SC – The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) announced today the membership of their recently formed Forest and Wood Products Inclusion Council, an initiative to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the forest sector. 

The Inclusion Council was formed to bring forest sector leaders together with experts in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to address racial and gender inequities in the sector. The Council includes representatives from public, private, not-for-profit, academic, and Indigenous organizations in the forest sector. Led by the Endowment, the initiative draws upon the expertise of Katie Fernholz at Dovetail Partners, Bethaney Wilkinson at the Diversity Gap, and Kelly Cooper at the Centre for Social Intelligence. Together, this group of sector leaders will work collaboratively within their spheres of influence and develop a National Action Plan that aims to establish a more diverse and inclusive workplace culture in the U.S. forest and wood products sector. 

“A bright future for the U.S. forest and wood products sector requires a diverse and inclusive workforce. This needed cultural shift will create long-lasting effects beyond the term of this project. When we foster the growth and professional development of underrepresented voices and perspectives, our sector can only strengthen and that, in turn, can benefit our people and our forests,” said Alicia Cramer, Senior Vice President at the Endowment and co-chair of the initiative.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau and its 2019 American Community survey states women account for just 21% of the U.S. forest sector, which includes forestry, logging, and manufacturing. Four percent are Native American, three percent are Black, and two percent are Asian. These percentages are even lower at the executive levels. To better compete in today’s global market and meet labor market demands, this must change. This Council will focus on collecting better data to understand DEI trends in the sector; attracting, retaining, and advancing underrepresented groups; and building awareness and access to create an equitable workforce and workplace.

“A diverse workforce is a critical component of our sector’s ability to confront the challenges facing our nation’s forests and improve the environmental and economic benefits they provide,” shares Shannon McCabe, Council Member.  “The data clearly shows a need for action, and I look forward to working alongside fellow Council members to establish a path toward a culture of inclusion and equity within the forest sector.”

Members of the Inclusion Council include:
Terry Baker, Society of American Foresters (Council co-chair)
Alicia Cramer, U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Council co-chair)
Don Calloway, Enviva
Angela Coleman, USDA Forest Service
Sam Cook, North Carolina State University
Asia Dowtin, Michigan State University
Cody Desautel, Intertribal Timber Council
Kate Gatto, National Alliance of Forest Owners
Deb Hawkinson, Forest Resources Association
Rita Hite, American Forest Foundation
Jennifer Jenkins, NCX
Shannon McCabe, Association of Consulting Foresters of America
Colin Moseley, Green Diamond Resource Company
Tiffanie Starr, Timberland Investment Resources
Jennie Stephens, Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation
De’Etra Young, Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS)

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Members at the Inclusion Council’s initial meeting in Washington, DC, March 2022


Media Contact
Brandon Walters, Communications and Administrative Coordinator. (864) 233-7646; brandon@usendowment.org

About the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities. To learn more about the Endowment, please visit our website at www.usendowment.org.

Endowment Receives $250,000 from USDA Forest Service to Study Wood Blockchain Development and Deployment through ForesTrust

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (July 26, 2022)

Greenville, SC – The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) has been awarded a $250,000 grant through the 2022 USDA Forest Service Wood Innovations Grant Program.

The award, matched by $250,000 from the Endowment, will fund a collaboration between the Endowment and Michigan State University Forest Carbon and Climate Program (MSU FCCP) to develop and deploy ForesTrust, a cost-effective blockchain network to accurately and efficiently track wood and wood fiber from forest to consumer. Simultaneously, MSU FCCP will investigate methodologies for accurately tracking stored carbon through the value chain, which will be incorporated into ForesTrust technology.

“We are thrilled to be in partnership with the Wood Innovations Grant Program on this project, which will employ blockchain technology to the benefit of the entire wood products industry,” said Teal Edelen, Program Officer at the Endowment. “The Endowment’s collaboration with Michigan State University will allow the wood products industry to accurately and securely track products through the supply chain, account for carbon stored, and demonstrate the chain of custody of wood and forest products through verifiable data.”

The Wood Innovations Grants Program, launched in 2015, stimulates and expands wood products and wood energy markets. National focus areas include mass timber, renewable wood energy, and technological development that supports fuel reduction and sustainable forest management.

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Media Contact
Brandon Walters, Communications and Administrative Coordinator. (864) 233-7646; brandon@usendowment.org

About the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities. To learn more about the Endowment, please visit our website at www.usendowment.org.

Virginia Department of Forestry and Enviva Forest Conservation Fund Protect Important Tract of Nottoway River Corridor


For IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Greenville, SC (June 15, 2022) – An important watershed forest along the Nottoway River in Southampton County, Virginia, will now be permanently conserved thanks in part to a grant from the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund. The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) has secured permanent conservation easements within the Nottoway River corridor on more than 838 acres, including 791 acres of working forest stands. The Nottoway Properties tract includes over 2.5 miles of frontage on the scenic Nottoway River, 600 acres of wetlands including approximately 200 acres of high-quality Cypress Tupelo, and about 400 acres of mixed typical Piedmont bottomland hardwoods. Additionally, the uplands portion of the tract is in pine plantation under management as a long-term working forest.

“The conservation of this property achieves several goals. Thanks to the support from Enviva and The Nature Conservancy, over 2.5 miles of the scenic Nottoway River are protected from development, and visitors will always be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the river. This land will be preserved and managed indefinitely as forest, rather than being converted to agriculture or other non-forest uses, supporting critical wildlife and habitat,” said Karl Didler, Forestland Conservation Program Manager with the VDOF. “Finally, a portion of the tract will continue to be managed as pine plantation, sustainably supporting the wood products industry while protecting Virginia’s water resources while protecting Virginia’s water quality,” Scheps concluded.

Currently, the property is home to numerous habitats, plant and animal species, including the federally threatened yellow lamp mussel (lampsilis cariosa) and the northern long-eared bat (myotis septenrionalis). This easement contributes another parcel to the National Scenic Nottoway River project, and a larger portion of the property is within the 100-year floodplain. Conservation will ensure that the water quality of the Nottoway River and other streams on the property are protected from sedimentation and pollution, especially during flood events.

“We are very pleased to contribute to the growing conservation corridor on the state scenic Nottoway River. We are happy to join the many other landowners who have chosen to protect our river here in Southampton County for future generations” said Clay Porter, the owner of the property.

“This is an important addition as work continues to conserve the Nottoway River corridor,” said Alicia Cramer, Senior Vice President of the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities. “This project is a significant piece of the Nottoway River protection effort, critical to supporting the important cultural, economic, and environmental contributions of this special area.”

The Fund’s goal is to be a catalyst for forest and habitat conservation in North Carolina and Virginia. More than five years into the planned 10-year partnership, 25 projects have been funded with a total commitment approaching $2.3 million, including today’s announcement. When these projects are completed, the Fund will have helped protect an estimated 30,024 acres of sensitive wetland forest and other habitats.

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About the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund
The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is a $5 million, 10-year program established by Enviva Inc., in December 2015 to protect environmentally sensitive bottomland and wetland forests. Administered by the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the Fund awards grants annually to nonprofit organizations and government agencies for conservation projects. Learn more at http://envivaforestfund.org.

About Virginia Department of Forestry
The Virginia Department of Forestry protects and develops healthy, sustainable forest resources for Virginians. With nearly 16 million acres of forestland and more than 108,000 Virginians employed in forestry, forest products, and related industries, Virginia forests provide an overall economic output of more than $21 billion annually.  Headquartered in Charlottesville, Va. the agency has forestry staff members assigned to every county to provide citizen service and public safety protection across the Commonwealth, which it’s been doing now for more than 100 years. VDOF is an equal opportunity provider. Learn more: www.dof.virginia.gov.

About the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities:
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities. To learn more about the Endowment, please visit our website at www.usendowment.org.

For more information, contact:
Brandon Walters, Communications and Administrative Coordinator, (864) 233-7646, brandon@usendowment.org

North Carolina Coastal Land Trust and Enviva Forest Conservation Fund Protect Historic Wetlands of the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuary

View of Keel Creek.  Photo courtesy of Tom Earnhardt.

Greenville, S.C. — January 10, 2022 – A nearly 800-acre property in Bertie and Hertford Counties in North Carolina has been permanently conserved thanks to a purchase by the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, with assistance from The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund.

Located in the Albemarle-Pamlico estuarine system, which is congressionally designated as “an estuary of national significance”, it is recognized as a nationally important resource through its more recent listing as one of “America’s Great Waters.” The property provides critical habitat for fish, wildlife, and waterfowl and supports a $1 billion fishing and ecotourism industry that is dependent upon clean water and healthy, functional habitats. With three miles of frontage along the Chowan River and seven miles of frontage along Keel Creek, the property is 85-90% cypress-tupelo forest (or ~650 acres) and the remaining 10-15 % is bottomland hardwood forest (100+ acres).   

Locally known as the Cumtuck Tract, this project represents a vital conservation acquisition.  “We are very proud of the Coastal Land Trust’s recent purchase of land along the Chowan River as it has significant importance, not only in terms of acres protected, but also for the fact that it conserves almost all of Keel Creek from its mouth at the Chowan River in Bertie County to its headwaters in Hertford County,” said Janice Allen, Director of Land Protection at the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust. The forested wetlands on this property have many trees over 100 years old with countless thick buttressed cypress and swamp tupelo trees.

The property is located north of the Town of Colerain and features the heart of Cow Island Swamp, a site identified as “ecologically significant” by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program due to the age and expanse of its mature bald cypress and tupelo gum forest. This project contributes to conserving forested wetlands in the watershed, particularly bottomland hardwood and cypress-gum swamp, rare species, and natural communities, while also helping to protect water quality in the region.

“Wetlands, amongst the world’s most economically and environmentally valuable ecosystems and essential regulators of the global climate, are disappearing three times faster than forests,” said Alicia Cramer, senior vice president of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. “This acquisition will not only help with flood management and water quality efforts but will contribute to the region’s climate resiliency,” added Cramer.    

The Chowan River has also been classified as a highly ecologically significant aquatic site due to the presence of several rare fish, mollusk, and crayfish species. The forested wetlands of the Cumtuck Tract provide essential nursery areas for anadromous fish, including Atlantic sturgeon, a federally endangered species, and provide habitat for listed freshwater mussel species and rare crayfish. Numerous bird species nest and/or overwinter in the Chowan River bottomlands, and the forested wetlands along the Chowan River from Colerain to Parkers Ferry have been identified as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. 

About the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund

The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is a $5 million, 10-year program established by Enviva in December 2015 to protect environmentally sensitive bottomland and wetland forests. Administered by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the Fund awards grants annually to nonprofit organizations and government agencies for conservation projects. Learn more at http://envivaforestfund.org.

About the North Carolina Coast Land Trust

The North Carolina Coastal Land Trust enriches coastal communities of North Carolina through conservation of natural areas and working lands, education, and the promotion of good land stewardship. Founded in 1992, the Coastal Land Trust has saved more than 84,000 acres of places with scenic, recreational, historic and/or ecological value, and has offices in Wilmington, New Bern and Elizabeth City. www.CoastalLandTrust.org.

About the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities. To learn more about the Endowment, please visit our website at www.usendowment.org.

For more information, contact:

Brandon Walters, Communications and Administrative Coordinator, (864) 233-7646, brandon@usendowment.org

2022 Enviva Forest Conservation Fund Request for Proposals

Deadline for proposals is January 28, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GREENVILLE, SC (November 30, 2021) The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) today released a new Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund (the Fund). $500,000 funding will be awarded to protect bottomland hardwood and other wetland forests in eastern North Carolina and southeast Virginia.

This is the seventh cycle of a $5 million, 10-year program launched by Enviva and the Endowment in 2015. Not-for-profit organizations, government agencies, and tribes are eligible to apply for grants. The deadline for proposals is January 28, 2022. The RFP and additional materials are available on the Endowment’s website.

“The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund was established to conserve sensitive wetland forests that might otherwise be threatened by land conversion, altered hydrology, invasive species, and the impact of climate change. These forests are critical to biodiversity, community resiliency, outdoor recreation, and clean water within Virginia and North Carolina,” said Alicia Cramer, Senior Vice President at the Endowment. “Efforts, like those of the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund, in partnership with on-the-ground conservation organizations, will help preserve these special forests for years to come.”

“We are incredibly proud of the work we have accomplished over the last six years thanks to the efforts of multiple conservation organizations that partner with us to preserve southern bottomland and wetland forests,” said Kim DuBose, Enviva Director of Sustainability. “The long-term impact of these projects is critical for the preservation of these magnificent ecosystems that support water quality, conservation, and habitat restoration.”

Since its inception in 2015, the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund has supported 24 projects with approximately $2.6 million invested. The projects funded to date by the Fund have protected about 31,000 acres across North Carolina and Virginia. These protected forests help provide a clean drinking water source, act as a buffer to infrastructure during storms, and provide critical habitats for many species of wildlife while at the same time providing jobs and economic opportunities for rural families and private landowners.

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About the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund
The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is a $5 million, 10-year program established by Enviva in December 2015 to protect environmentally sensitive bottomland and wetland forests. Administered by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the Fund awards grants annually to nonprofit organizations and government agencies for conservation projects. Learn more at http://envivaforestfund.org.

About the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities:
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities. To learn more about the Endowment, please visit our website at www.usendowment.org.

For more information, contact:
Alicia Cramer, Senior Vice President, (205) 792-8650, alicia@usendowment.org

$2.2 million in Grants Announced for Innovative Finance for National Forests Program

Eleven awards support development of finance models that seek to leverage public and private sector capital to support resilience of the National Forest System and surrounding lands

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (October 11, 2021)

U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Greenville, SC
National Forest Foundation, Missoula, MT

Eleven new grants will support local stakeholders and project developers to connect public and private capital to unfunded environmental challenges in National Forests and surrounding landscapes across the United States.  

These 11 awards represent the second round of funding from the Innovative Finance for National Forests Grant Program. This partnership is funded and administered by the USDA Forest Service National Partnership Office’s Conservation Finance Program and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment), with technical support provided by the National Forest Foundation (NFF).

“Innovative approaches to funding wildfire risk reduction and other needs on our National Forests are needed now more than ever,” said Pete Madden, the Endowment’s President and CEO. “We are impressed by the ingenuity of the proposed approaches from our grantee partners, and we commend the USDA Forest Service for their commitment to exploring new financial vehicles that tap into private sector resources.”

”Our National Forests are one of our county’s greatest assets,” said Mary Mitsos, President and CEO at the NFF. “The selected IFNF grantees represent the bold and forward-looking solutions that can help us rise to the challenge of conserving and restoring these lands so that they continue benefiting all visitors and the connected communities.”

“Through the Innovative Finance for National Forests program, we are putting partnerships to work for the incredible communities we collaborate with across the country and mobilizing sustainable financial solutions to solve some of their most pressing land management challenges,” said Ellen Shaw, Acting Director of the Forest Service National Partnership Office. “Through this program we invite innovative partners to work with us to advance big ideas.”

Innovative Finance for National Forests is a five-year, competitive grant program. Additional information is available at ifnfgrants.org.

Eleven projects were selected for funding for the 2021 Innovative Finance for National Forests Grant Program:

Spurring Collective Action for Resilient Watershed Investments: A Blended Finance Strategy to Unlock Corporate, Utility, and Public Funds — $470,000 to World Resources Institute and Bonneville Environmental Foundation to scale and accelerate corporate participation in conservation finance mechanisms across investment-ready projects, and to chart a new pathway for future corporate target-setting to link with conservation finance projects on National Forests and adjacent lands in Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8.  

Financing Innovative Partnerships for Rural Recreation Infrastructure — $376,811 to Quantified Ventures to continue IFNF support for piloting an innovative approach to financing recreation infrastructure improvements that provide greater access to and absorb tourism on the Inyo (California) and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie (Washington) National Forests by leveraging project revenues through permit negotiations, and securing external financing through local recreation councils and public funds.

Defueling the Fire: Piloting a Resilience Fund for the Weber River Watershed Communities — $295,020 to Summit County, Utah to develop a pilot Resilience Fund that pools funding commitments from local public and private entities to leverage state and federal funds for watershed health and wildfire resilience on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and state and private lands.

Piloting Wildfire Resilience Insurance — $249,000 to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to build on the success of their first IFNF award, which demonstrated that ecological forestry can reduce insurance premiums and considered the extent to which premium savings could fund or finance ecological forestry. TNC and their partner, global risk advisor Willis Towers Watson, created a new insurance product, wildfire resilience insurance. They will now pilot wildfire resilience insurance by structuring and placing the product for one or more buyers.

Leveraging Private, Public, and Philanthropic Partnerships to Finance the Mount St. Helens Lodge & Education Center — $99,495 to The Mount St. Helens Institute to continue IFNF support for a pilot project to finance recreational and educational opportunities through upgrades to the Coldwater Visitor Center at Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument in Washington.

Linking Public and Forest Health: Developing a Cost Benefit Model to Reduce Wildfire Smoke Impacts with Forest Management — $149,973 to Blue Forest Conservation and the California Council on Science and Technology for a research and development project on the Eldorado and Stanislaus National Forests to help make explicit the connection between forest management and stakeholders that pay high healthcare costs, and to motivate investment in activities that reduce wildfire risk and smoke impacts from fires on National Forests.  

Central Oregon National Forest Dedicated Recreation Funding — $150,000 to ECONorthwest for research and development to characterize the recreation benefits and beneficiaries on Oregon’s Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and to propose a comprehensive, locally-managed and dedicated funding program to enhance recreation assets based on the beneficiary profile.

Driving Conservation Outcomes through Innovative Finance for Recreation Management: A Learning Laboratory in Gunnison, Colorado — $149,632 to Western Colorado University for research and development to explore avenues to mitigate landscape impacts and to improve recreation experiences by developing finance models that will bring vital recreation infrastructure and services to the Gunnison National Forest, achieve sustainable socio-ecological and financial outcomes, and train a new generation of land managers.

Scaling Biomass Energy Implementation in USFS Regions 5,6, and 10 — $115,500 to Wisewood Energy to continue IFNF support to launch Biomass Utilization Funds across the Sierra Nevada and Pacific Northwest to address the biggest barriers to the widespread adoption of community-scale biomass energy in the U.S. West: capital costs, continuity across project stages, and dependable operations.

CalForest WRX – Stimulating Investment in Forest Health and Community Well-being –$84,986 to Humboldt County for research and development on Six Rivers National Forest to explore the feasibility of a Forest Health Fund to subsidize forest thinning and biomass removal to help reduce severe wildfire risks from overstocking of small diameter timber and biomass on public and private lands in northwestern California.

Watershed Protection Rapid Response Fund: Leveraging Private & Public Investment for Emergency Storm Damage Repairs –$63,717 to Trout Unlimited for exploration into the feasibility of a public-private investment vehicle that will pay for prompt repairs to storm related damages to the road system in North Carolina’s Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests and adjacent communities, and make strategic upgrades at vulnerable locations to prevent future damage, using existing federal government funding vehicles as the payback mechanism.



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For more information, contact:
Peter Stangel,  404-915-2763, peter@usendowment.org
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-rich communities — usendowment.org.

Nathalie Woolworth, 202-281-8511, Nathalie.woolworth@usda.gov
The Conservation Finance Program at the USDA Forest Service National Partnership Office (NPO) works to increase and unlock new sources of funding and financing to support agency priorities, with a focus on return-driven investment opportunities that engage private capital by aligning environmental, social and financial outcomes — usda.gov.  

A Message from President and CEO Pete Madden Recognizing the Endowment’s 15th Anniversary

Dear Friends of the Endowment,

September 21st marks the Endowment’s 15th anniversary. What a journey it has been! We have been privileged to be part of many great programs that support the forest sector and benefit forest-rich communities. In a world filled with challenges, we believe now more than ever that forests provide many answers and opportunities, including economic rewards in rural communities, environmentally-friendly building materials, recreation and human health benefits, wildlife habitat, and clean air and water.  

The Endowment’s success is grounded in partnerships. This anniversary is as much about you as it is about the Endowment. We thank our partners, grantees, past and present board members and staff, and all those who have contributed to our growth and success over the last decade and a half. Together, we are meeting challenges and seizing opportunities that benefit the forest sector and rural communities.

Healthy, well-managed forests will help mitigate climate change and keep our drinking water clean and affordable.  Expanding markets for wood building materials will provide health, aesthetic, and climate benefits. Cellulosic nanofibers in everyday products will reduce carbon emissions and water use relative to traditional materials.  Forests near growing urban centers will furnish places to recreate and relax. And forest-rich communities will offer family-supporting jobs and opportunities for millions of landowners.

On behalf of our board and staff, I want to thank you for your encouragement, support, and partnership. We look forward to collaborating with you for years to come.

Sincerely,

Pete Madden

President and CEO

Enviva Forest Conservation Fund Helps North Carolina Coastal Land Trust Protect Ancient Wetlands Along Cape Fear River in Brunswick County, North Carolina

U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Greenville, SC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (September 15, 2021)

Greenville, SC – Today, the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust and the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund announced a joint project that will result in the permanent conservation of 1,048 acres of wetlands in Brunswick County, located in southeastern North Carolina across the Cape Fear River from the City of Wilmington. To date, the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust has conserved over 20,000 acres in Brunswick County, with 90% located along the lower Cape Fear River and Town Creek.

“The lower Cape Fear River has been a priority focus for our land conservation efforts since our inception in 1992. We are so appreciative of the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund grant which helped us acquire this large property of over 1,000 acres of floodplain forest bordering the Cape Fear and Indian Creek. This tract provides excellent wildlife habitat and adds to this growing swath of forever green,” said Janice Allen, Director of Land Protection at the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust. 

The tract hosts 3.7 miles along the Cape Fear River and 1.3 miles along Indian Creek. This property has been in the same ownership since the 1930’s and has not been harvested during that time period. According to a 2017 North Carolina Natural Heritage Program (NCNHP) site report, the entirety of the tract is classified as wetlands and contains over 920 acres of cypress-tupelo swamp, over 100 acres of bottomland hardwoods, and approximately 14 acres of tidal freshwater marsh, some which are ranked for having very high ecological significance by the NCNHP.

“The permanent protection of this tract along the Cape Fear River will not only protect significant bottomland hardwood forests permanently, but it will also serve as a key wildlife corridor. This beautiful tract of land will benefit and protect a priority of species as a result of being located in close proximity to existing and proposed conservation areas,” said Alicia Cramer, Sr. Vice President of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities.

Currently, the site hosts a habitat for numerous migratory bird and bat species, some of which are listed as “Species of Greatest Conservation Need” (SGCN) by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. SGCN species likely to live on this tract include Prothonotary Warbler, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Acadian Flycatcher, Black-throated Green Warbler, Little Blue Heron, Anhinga, Wood Stork, Snowy Egret, Wood Duck, Swallow-tailed Kite, Bald Eagle, Rafinesque’s big-eared bat and other Southeastern bats.

The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund’s goal is to be a catalyst for investments in forest and habitat conservation in southeast Virginia and North Carolina’s coastal plain. As the fund enters its sixth year of the planned 10-year partnership, 24 projects have been funded with a total commitment of over $2.6 million, including the project announced today. When these projects are completed, the Fund will have helped protect an estimated 31,000 acres of sensitive wetland forests and other habitats.

Caption: Prothonotary Warbler captured by NCCLT Executive Director, Walker Golder, while on the property. This is one of the several migratory birds in the Species of Greatest Conservation Need list which are found on the property. 

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About the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund:

The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is a $5 million, 10-year program established by Enviva Holdings, LP in December 2015 to protect environmentally sensitive bottomland and wetland forests. Administered by the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the Fund awards grants annually to nonprofit organizations and government agencies for conservation projects. Learn more at http://envivaforestfund.org/

About the North Carolina Coast Land Trust:

The Coastal Land Trust is a high-performing, accredited, regional land trust with a reputation for excellence. Established in 1992, it serves the 31 counties in the coastal plain of North Carolina and saves special places in the coastal plain like barrier islands, creates nature parks and preserves, protects family farms, and conserves and restores longleaf pine forests. The mission of the Coastal Land Trust is to enrich the coastal communities of North Carolina through conservation of natural areas and working landscapes, education, and the promotion of good land stewardship. Learn more: https://coastallandtrust.org/

About the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities:

The US Endowment for Forestry and Communities is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities. To learn more about the Endowment, please visit our website at www.usendowment.org

Media Contacts:
Brandon Walters, Communications and Administrative Coordinator, U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. brandon@usendowment.org; 864-233-7646

The Softwood Lumber Board and U.S. Endowment Launch Initiatives for Increased Carbon and Sustainability Transparency in Wood Products

SLB Leads Industry Efforts to Support Decarbonizing the Built Environment by Providing Carbon Data for Building and Product Analysis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (August 19, 2021)

Oregon City, Ore.  — The Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) announces funding for carbon transparency projects in partnership with the United States Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment).  The funds will support coordinated research exploring the creation of resources and tools to enhance expertise and data across the wood product value chain. Three priority projects will address questions from the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) sector regarding wood’s carbon accounting to show how wood products and forests mitigate carbon emissions and the impacts of climate change.

“The SLB is funding these initiatives as a key step in addressing the built environment’s impact on climate change,” explained Cees de Jager, SLB President and CEO. “Wood products, and the forests they come from, are natural climate solutions which can sustainably support the built spaces we need for generations to come.”

“Forests and wood products are an attractive option for carbon reduction commitments,” said Pete Madden, Endowment President and CEO. “To make informed decisions, stakeholders are asking for more, up-to-date information on forest carbon and wood products. Our joint efforts build on earlier investments aimed at improving data transparency.”

Earlier this year, a team of subject matter experts, including the American Wood Council, the National Alliance of Forest Owners and several forestry and wood products stakeholders, gathered to evaluate how existing and new research and tool development can meet stakeholder needs to better understand the carbon and environmental impact of growing and using wood products across the full value chain.

The AEC community is interested in sustainability metrics associated with wood products used to design and build today’s low- and zero carbon buildings. Beginning this month, the SLB and Endowment are exploring opportunities to provide information about woodshed carbon balance and create a consistent framework with forestry information at regional levels.

The partnership will also investigate methods of communicating sustainability and fiber sourcing data clearly and concisely for customers and other interested audiences. Because of the multitude of uses for wood products and the potential environmental impacts related to delivering the product to the customer, wood environmental product declarations (EPDs) do not currently include transportation from a mill to a building site (the A4 lifecycle stage). Planned research will review reporting methodologies with the goal of providing a clearer and more complete picture of the carbon impacts of wood transportation.

For more information about the work underway to address wood’s role as a climate solution, please contact the SLB at info@softwoodlumberboard.org.

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About the Softwood Lumber Board:

The Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) is an industry-funded initiative established to promote the benefits and uses of softwood lumber products in outdoor, residential, and non-residential construction and to increase demand for appearance and softwood lumber products. Through strategic investments in pro-wood communications, standards development, design and engineering assistance, research, demonstrations, and partnerships, the organization seeks to make softwood lumber the preferred material choice from both an economic and environmental standpoint.

For more information about the Softwood Lumber Board, visit www.softwoodlumberboard.org.

About U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities. To learn more about the Endowment, please visit our website at www.usendowment.org.

Media Contact

Kabira Ferrell, Softwood Lumber Board, ferrell@softwoodlumberboard.org

Brandon Walters, U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, brandon@usendowment.org

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