Bluesource is working with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to deliver the Working Woodlands Program to private landowners with high conservation value forestlands across the country. The program uses funds generated by Improved Forest Management or Avoided Conversion forest carbon projects to finance easement protection, sustainable forest management planning, and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.
How it works: The Nature Conservancy’s Forest Conservation Program is an FSC-Certified Resource Manager (CRM), allowing the Conservancy to provide FSC certification for private landowners. TNC foresters conduct rigorous forest inventories and develop FSC-certified management plans. Landowners then sign onto land management agreements or working forest conservation easements. All forest products produced are FSC-certified, and the landowner retains all timber sale revenues.
Bluesource is responsible for evaluating, developing and marketing all carbon credits generated by the projects as well as overseeing all carbon inventory, modeling, verification, registration and marketing activities. Carbon revenues generated from the projects are distributed to the landowners and TNC, providing all parties with a new and important recurring source of revenue.
This approach allows landowners to receive full FSC certification and planning with no upfront costs, while receiving long-term value from both FSC-certified products and carbon credit sales. Landowner benefits include:
To date, Bluesource and TNC have completed two Working Woodlands projects:
The Bethlehem Authority project, located on 17,000 forested acres in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was the first project to be verified under the Verified Carbon Standard’s (VCS) Improved Forest Management (IFM) protocol. In conjunction with the carbon project, a conservation easement was placed on the land and FSC certification was obtained. Over the Bethlehem project’s life, nearly 1 million tonnes of forest carbon offsets are anticipated to be produced, all the while promoting forest health and protecting the water shed for Monroe and Carbon Counties, Pennsylvania.
The second Working Woodlands project was launched with Pennsylvania’s Lock Haven City Authority shortly following the Bethlehem project’s validation. Like Bethlehem, the Lock Haven project involved the establishment of a conservation easement and FSC certification in concert with carbon credit generation on the City Authority’s ~5,000 acre forest property. The Lock Haven project is projected to generate nearly half a million forest carbon offsets over its planned life.
Additional Improved Forest Management and Avoided Conversion projects under Working Woodlands are currently being evaluated.
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