The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program awarded $30 million to the New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) and its partners in September 2022 to help forest landowners implement climate-smart forest practices that also protect ecosystem health and biodiversity.
The award funds a five-year pilot project that will be organized around three broad goals and areas of work:
- Climate-smart forestry incentives for practices that store more carbon in working forests for a group of forest landowners across all six New England states, including on large commercial forests, smaller family woodlots and First Nation woodlands
- Market-building for climate-smart forest products, with a focus on mass timber construction
- Monitoring, verification, and reporting to document and ensure additive carbon benefit
In balance with wildlands, NEFF will work to leverage the USDA’s generous investment to accomplish its 30 Percent Solution, which calls for significantly expanding the use of NEFF’s own approach to climate-smart forestry—Exemplary Forestry—across the managed portion of the 32 million acres of forestland that spans New England, which makes this pilot project both an important first step and an opportunity to gather lessons learned—and carry them with us from the pilot to this wider landscape.
How The Program Works
Formally titled the New England Climate-Smart Commodities Partnership, the project will ultimately implement and demonstrate the impact of climate-smart forestry on 80,000 acres. It includes more than 20 partner companies, organizations, and institutions from across New England that represent forest-related industries and have climate interests at the forefront of their concerns.
A diverse group of partners will work together across the region to implement the program as specialty teams bring their expertise to bear on the more technical aspects of the partnership.
NEFF is pleased to be working in conjunction with the Family Forest Carbon Program of American Forest Foundation, another USDA Climate-Smart Commodities awardee, on outreach to small family landowners. Discover the full list of partners at the bottom of the page.