Posted: July 13, 2020

The PA Tree Farm Committee announces a new opportunity for PA forestland owners. The American Forest Foundation (AFF) in partnership with The Nature Conservancy has launched a pilot carbon sequestration incentive program in selected areas of Pennsylvania. It is called the Family Forest Carbon Program. A map of the eligible forestland is shown below. The partnership has plans to extend the area to include all of PA private forestlands by year's end.

Areas of that have launched a pilot carbon sequestration initiative. All of the state's private forestlands may be included by year's end.

Areas of that have launched a pilot carbon sequestration initiative. All of the state's private forestlands may be included by year's end.

The Family Forest Carbon Program is designed to be easily accessible to small landowners, removing the barriers landowners often face access, lack of expertise, and cost to help them manage and optimize their family forests for carbon sequestration. Landowners will get payments to maintain their forestland with the agreed-upon practices.

This is accomplished by:

  • Adopting a practice-based approach that offers incentives for specific forest management practices which have been scientifically demonstrated to enhance carbon sequestration.

In PA there are three practices that will be funded initially:

  1. Reduce impact from logging, reduce residual tree damage, reduce skid trail footprint, leave more high quality seed trees.
  2. Extended harvest cycles: no select cuts, encourage sustainable harvest that will maintain basal area and viable seed source for future forests.
  3. Competing vegetation control: controlling competing vines, shrubs, grasses, and forbs to grow a sustaining forest.
  • Engaging family forest owners with trusted information and decades of experience working with private landowners.
  • Reducing the expenses to landowners by 75% while creating a path to income.
  • Offering carbon benefits to businesses and partners to help them reach their sustainable development goals and demonstrate their leadership on climate issues.

The Family Forest Carbon Program makes it economically feasible to engage family lands at a large scale, thus making a significant contribution to the nation's climate mitigation strategy. According to the initial estimates from the program's science team, if 20% of these family forest acres (54 million) were managed using practices that optimized carbon sequestration by 2030, this program could sequester at least 3.5 gigatons of CO2 through the balance of the century.

Program participants are expected to work with professional foresters to implement one or more practices that align with the landowner's management goals. The recommended forest management practices have been scientifically demonstrated to enhance carbon sequestration.

Those interested in participating in the Family Forest Carbon Program can sign up at www.familyforestcarbon.org. Sign up now, even if the pilot program is not yet in your area - you will be notified when it is available. For more information, visit the American Forest Foundation's website at www.forestfoundation.org/carbon and click on the Family Forest Carbon Program link near bottom of page.

This article was provided by the Pennsylvania Tree Farm Committee. If you would
like more information about the PA Tree Farm program, visit their webpage at
www.paforestry.org/treefarm.

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802