The U.S. Department of Agriculture has kicked off what’s being billed as a “transformative effort” to restore New England’s forests through climate-smart forestry practices. Known as the “Climate Smart Commodities Partnership,” the $30 million program aims to encourage forest landowners to store more carbon on their land while also expanding markets for sustainably grown forest products.
“And the way this project is going to work is by working directly with landowners, both large commercial landowners and smaller family woodlot owners to provide incentive payments to help cover the cost of actually doing climate smart forestry on the ground,” said Andi Colnes with the New England Forestry Foundation, a lead partner in the project.
Colnes said if forests are managed well, New England could meet up to 30% of its climate goals by 2050.
The five-year pilot project will demonstrate how improved methods of growing and cutting trees works across 70,000 acres, with a goal of eventually expanding to millions of acres.
By Susan Sharon