The New England Forestry Foundation has launched a unique charitable opportunity for New England’s private forest owners. Through the Pooled Timber Income Fund (PTIF), landowners can receive lifetime income while ensuring permanent protection for and responsible management of their forests.
“When fund participants entrust us with their woodlands, they are guaranteed the gold standard of sustainable forest management, or what we call Exemplary Forestry,” said Frank Lowenstein, Deputy Director and Chief Conservation Officer of the New England Forestry Foundation. “It balances income generation with the long-term health of forests and the many benefits healthy forests provide, from wildlife habitat to helping protect our climate by keeping excess carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.”
PTIF participants donate their woodlands to the New England Forestry Foundation, and the woodlands’ timber is contributed to a pooled income fund. In turn, donors receive an even stream of lifetime income and an initial charitable tax deduction. On the death of all beneficiaries, the timber reverts to the New England Forestry Foundation, and the donor’s lands become part of the New England Forestry Foundation’s network of more than 140 community forests.
“After a lot of hard work and careful planning, we’re excited to officially announce the Pooled Timber Income Fund and broaden our recruitment efforts,” said Lowenstein. “It’s off to a great start thanks to a few early investors and a collaboration with The Nature Conservancy.”
The New England Forestry Foundation has leased timber from two Nature Conservancy preserves in Massachusetts for inclusion in the PTIF. The Bartholomew Farm and McElwain-Olsen Preserves, in Sheffield and Middlefield, include almost 300 acres of forest land and are among the first forests to be included in the PTIF. The Nature Conservancy will exclusively use its PTIF income to further the organization’s land conservation and stewardship work.
The New England Forestry Foundation’s forest management on Bartholomew and McElwain-Olsen is an opportunity to demonstrate how conservation and good forestry can work hand in hand. Both preserves were conserved by The Nature Conservancy for their ecological values, including limestone ledges and an important cold-water stream. On pre-harvest preserve walks, conservation staff will show how Exemplary Forestry will consider these and other ecological values, including forest carbon.
“We have more landowners in New England interested in conserving their forests than we have funding and tools to help them do it,” said Laura Marx, Forest Ecologist for The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts. “We are excited to work with the New England Forestry Foundation as they launch this new tool and to inspire others by demonstrating how it works.”
To learn more about participating in the Pooled Timber Income Fund, contact Sophie Traficonte at 978-952-6856 x122 or visit www.newenglandforestry.org/support/ptif.
Photo of the McElwain-Olsen Preserve courtesy of The Nature Conservancy.