Sunday, June 16th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Sunday, June 16th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Your land, your legacy: The Family Forest Carbon Program unlocks the potential of your forest

The majority of forests in the United States — 39% — are owned by families and individuals who have valuable experience and want to be good stewards of their land. But good forest stewardship is expensive and requires technical expertise. This is where the Family Forest Carbon Program comes in.

Developed by two long-standing nonprofits, the American Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, this program enables family forest owners to earn income from their land by helping them participate in carbon markets. In addition to an annual income stream, the program provides professional guidance from a forester and a forest management plan that results in a healthier, more resilient and more valuable forest.

The Family Forest Carbon Program is not a government-run program. It is funded through philanthropic donations, grants and contracts with corporations who purchase high-integrity, verified carbon credits. Essentially, carbon markets put a dollar value on carbon that is then sold to companies that have been vetted for their commitment to sustainability. This program allows family forest owners to earn guaranteed additional income from their land which can help them cover the costs of forest management activities that sequester and store more carbon.

A Unique Approach for All Landowners

The Family Forest Carbon Program offers a way for family forest owners with 30 acres or more to participate in carbon markets and earn income for implementing climate-smart forestry practices that make forests healthier and more resilient.

American Forest Foundation Senior Forestry Manager Brittany VanderWall explains, “The program is specifically designed for non-industrial private forest landowners.” Enrollment in the program not only increases the value of your forest but also supports achieving vital economic and environmental outcomes, as well as driving economic stimulus to forest owners’ local communities.

Enrolling in the Family Forest Carbon Program comes with a range of benefits for forest landowners:

  • Access to professional foresters for expert assistance for managing your forest (or the opportunity to continue working with your trusted consulting forester).
  • A customized forest management plan tailored to your goals and your property.
  • Guaranteed annual payments to help you reach your goals.
  • Practical resources to assist future generations in carrying on your legacy of good forest stewardship.
  • An opportunity to join a community of like-minded landowners.
Michigan, Minnesota, & Wisconsin: Let’s Get Started

The Family Forest Carbon Program is now officially open in more than 90 counties across Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin for landowners with 30 or more acres of land. Check your eligibility today.

There are two recommended forest management practices available to landowners: “Growing Mature Forests” and “Promoting Diverse Forests.”

“Growing Mature Forests” is designed to allow your forest to grow older and larger trees than average forests in your local landscape. This practice promotes long-term forest health, improves habitat for the numerous wildlife species that rely on mature forests, and increases the commercial and environmental value of the woodland while allowing you to maintain a working forest.

“Promoting Diverse Forests” is designed to improve forest carbon storage by increasing the number of living trees left uncut during coppice or clearcut harvests. This practice allows you to balance the financial and ecological benefits of harvesting, while enhancing wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and resiliency in the face of a changing climate.

A Legacy for Future Generations

As Tim Stout, an enrolled landowner in Vermont, recently said, “Let’s not be glum about climate change. Let’s be positive about what we can do.”

As a forest landowner in the scenic and thriving Northwoods region of the Midwest, you too can play a vital role in combating climate change.

Your participation in the Family Forest Carbon Program allows you to contribute in a meaningful way and ensure that your family and your community will enjoy the beauty and many benefits of your land — for generations to come.

American Forest Foundation Senior Forestry Manager, and Minnesota native, Chrissy Shaw adds, “With climate change on the horizon, there are many more difficulties that the future may hold for us. Forests and the trees within them are not exempt. Luckily, the American Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy have been working hard to bring a program that would provide some relief to our forests in the face of climate change, along with providing additional income to help finance sustainable forest management goals.”

If you or someone you know owns 30-plus acres of woodland and could benefit from the guaranteed annual income, forest management plan and forestry expertise provided by the Family Forest Carbon Program, please see

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