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NWF Endorses GreenTrees Forest Carbon and Conservation Program
The National Wildlife Federation has announced its support for the GreenTrees program as a scalable model of land conservation to simultaneously create climate benefits, fast-growth wildlife habitats and new income streams for private landowners.
In a letter to C2I, LLC, the company that originated and manages the GreenTrees program in Louisiana and Arkansas, NWF CEO Larry Schweiger described GreenTrees as ?one of the most promising models? NWF has seen in combining land conservation and restoration with the growing market of carbon storage and sequestration.
GreenTrees is a voluntary land use choice for landowners to plant new trees on marginal ground, fallow pasture or crop acres where trees have not previously existed for at least 20 years. Its tree planting design specifically uses 302 cottonwood trees inter-planted with 302 mixed hardwoods per acre to significantly accelerate forest growth and carbon sequestration. The cottonwoods serve as trainer trees to create a healthier, more valuable hardwood forest and accelerate biomass timber markets and bio-economic development jobs in the Delta.
GreenTrees directly raises private capital from sources that desire the future carbon sequestration rights produced from this planting. This funding in turn provides landowners cash payments, additional income streams, tree planting assistance and forest management oversight. Because landowners enter into a long-term lease prohibiting total deforestation of these new forests, multiple ecological and wildlife benefits are restored in the Delta region for generations to come.
Also, USDA has included this cottonwood/hardwood inter-planting practice on suitable soils in its Conservation Reserve Program. This means that Louisiana landowners can receive CRP enrollment incentives and incomes from USDA?s Farm Services Agency in addition to and independent of GreenTrees incomes, thus further increasing the total economic benefits for landowners who care to simultaneously enroll in both programs.
?The National Wildlife Federation knows that we have to push forward all credible approaches that deal with the twin threats of habitat loss and global warming at a pace much faster than we ever expected,? Schweiger added. ?The creativity that private interests can bring to bear in helping solve these problems is well exemplified by the GreenTrees program.?
Louisiana landowners may now enroll in GreenTrees. More information can be found at www.green-trees.com or calling Page Gravely at 540.687.8950.