Preserving forests such as the Frances Beidler forest are critical but can be challenging due to the value of timber on these properties.
A conservation easement was placed on the property by the Audubon Society, ensuring the land is protected from commercial harvesting into perpetuity even through management changes.
The Francis Beidler Forestry Project is an example of how carbon revenues can be used to offset lost timber revenue in older forests and preserve the forests for future generations.
The Francis Beidler Forestry Project is a unique and rare property located in the South Carolina lowlands. It is the world’s largest virgin cypress-tupelo swamp forest, a pristine ecosystem of thousand-year-old trees. Because the property features stands of highly valuable timber, logging has been an attractive management option for the property in the past. Preservation of forests such as the Frances Beidler forest are critical but can be challenging due to the value of timber on properties like these.
In recent years, the Audubon Society placed a permanent conservation easement on 5,548 acres of the property, prohibiting future development and commercial harvesting. The easement initiated a forest carbon project to generate funds for the long-term maintenance of the area and protection of additional buffering lands. In April of 2013, Bluesource completed registration of the Francis Beidler Improved Forest Management Project (Beidler) with California’s Climate Action Reserve. Less than a year later, Beidler became one of the first forest projects to be accepted under the California Air Resources Board compliance program and issued compliance offset credits. In April of 2015, Beidler completed its second successful site verification, thereby becoming the first forestry project to reduce invalidation risk for its compliance credits from eight to three years.
The Francis Beidler project aids emission reductions through enhanced sequestration relative to baseline forest management. This project creates a unique forest environment amid cropland and aggressive timber harvesting that allows for essential habitat for key plant and animal species. It is an example of how carbon revenues can be used to offset potential timber value in old-growth forests, preserve these for future generations, and help us fight the impacts of climate change.