LITTLETON, MA – More family woodland owners in New England now have an opportunity to apply for financial support to care for their forested property and increase carbon storage thanks to a newly launched partnership between New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) and the American Forest Foundation (AFF). Both NEFF and AFF received Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities awards from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and are teaming up to support climate-smart forestry in the New England region.
NEFF’s $30 million USDA grant funds climate-smart forestry incentives to accelerate carbon storage in working forests for a pilot group of landowners in New England, including large commercial forests, smaller family woodlots and Tribal Nations woodlands. NEFF has launched the first part of its incentive program for family forest owners in partnership with AFF through its Family Forest Carbon Program.
“We are very excited to kick off this first component of our New England Climate-Smart Commodities Partnership,” said Andrea Colnes, NEFF Deputy Director and Climate Fellow. “Our collaboration with AFF’s Family Forest Carbon Program will support the ability of small forestland owners to invest in climate-smart forestry and contribute to natural climate solutions for our region and on their own lands.”
The Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP) is administered by AFF and The Nature Conservancy, and partially funded in New England by NEFF’s USDA award. Northeast family forest owners of at least 30 acres are eligible to enroll in FFCP, which provides financial and technical support to improve the health and wellbeing of their lands while also capturing more carbon from the atmosphere. The program is open for enrollment in all counties in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, and the following counties in Massachusetts: Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester.
“Family forest owners are a critical piece to the conservation puzzle, and it’s time they get the support they need to maximize their woodlands’ climate potential,” said Sierra Giraud, Senior Forestry Manager for the Family Forest Carbon Program at AFF. “Through the USDA’s climate-smart commodities award, our partnership with NEFF will expand access to the financial and technical tools for landowners in the Northeast to improve the health and value of their forests, all while increasing biodiversity, supporting wildlife, and building generational wealth. It’s a win-win for people and the planet.”
NEFF will be launching other incentive opportunities for family forest owners outside the states and counties listed above in the coming months, as well as introducing its incentive program for Tribal Nations in Maine and large commercial landowners.
This NEFF-AFF partnership will allow more landowners in a larger geographic area of New England to benefit from the advice of a professional forester to address the climate vulnerability of their land and recommend climate-smart practices while promoting forest health, resilience and productivity.
If you are interested in learning more and to determine if your property is eligible, visit the FFCP website: familyforestcarbon.org
More information about NEFF and its Climate-Smart Commodities program is available at:
About New England Forestry Foundation
Through the application of our core expertise in conserving forestland and advancing Exemplary Forestry, New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) helps the people of New England to sustain their way of life, protect forest wildlife habitat and ecosystem services, and mitigate and adapt to climate change. NEFF has conserved more than 1.2 million acres of forestland for future generations through purchases, gifts, and bequests of land and easements, actively manages NEFF-owned lands as demonstration forests and keeps more than 150 NEFF properties open to the public as Community Forests. NEFF is the fourth-largest land trust in the United States by acres conserved.
About the American Forest Foundation
The American Forest Foundation is a national conservation organization that works with a broad coalition of partners to empower family forest owners to make a meaningful conservation impact. Through the Family Forest Carbon Program, we support family forest owners to improve the health, value and climate potential of their land. For more information about our program, visit familyforestcarbon.org.