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Ferns in Redwood Forest, photo credit: Greg Jirak  

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RFFI in the News

Are California redwood trees the answer to global warming?
California redwoods store more carbon than any other forests in the world, study finds
August, 2016, San Jose Mercury News

RFFI was pleased to learn about Humboldt State University's research confirming that coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) and redwood forests remove and store more carbon from the atmosphere per acre than any other forests on the planet. This is great news in light of RFFI's success in establishing the Usal Redwood Forest carbon project, which was recognized by California's Climate Action Reserve Board for achieving the most emissions reductions in California in 2015.

You can read about the Humboldt State University study in Paul Rogers' article, which appeared in the San Jose Mercury News and the East Bay Times, Are California redwood trees the answer to global warming? RFFI's forest management practices and redwood reforestation program, Plant a Redwood Now, are designed to maximize redwood growth and carbon sequestration.

RFFI board member Heidi Knott Gundling interviewed by Pat Higgins and Richard Gienger
August, 2016, KMUD Radio

Redwood Forest Foundation board member, Heidi Knott Gundling, was interviewed by Pat Higgins and Richard Gienger on August 8, 2016 at 8 AM on KMUD's Monday Morning Magazine. Get to know more about Heidi's experience. Listen to Richard and Heidi discuss RFFI's mission, community forestry and extensive forest and watershed restoration in Usal Redwood Forest.

Jack Dumbacher explains the invasion and impact of barred owls on threatened northern spotted owls
August, 2016, KZYX Radio

Jack Dumbacher, PhD, Curator and Chair, Department of Ornithology and Mammalogy, California Academy of Sciences, was the featured speaker at the 2016 Redwood Forest Foundation's Annual Meeting. On August 4, 2016, Sherri Quinn interviewed him on KZYX Mendocino Currents. Listen to Dr. Dumbacher explain the invasion and impact of barred owls on threatened northern spotted owls.

Top Achievements in Carbon Offset Project Development Honored by the Climate Action Reserve
May, 2016, Climate Action Reserve

...Usal Redwood Forest Company, in recognition of registering the most offset credits with the Reserve in 2015 with 3,166,372 credits issued. The Usal Redwood Forest encompasses more than 49,000 acres of productive redwood/Douglas-fir forest located on the North Coast of California. In 2007, the Forest was acquired by the Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc ("RFFI"), a non-profit organization dedicated to acquiring, protecting, restoring and managing forestlands for the long-term benefit of the region's citizens. Since acquisition of the Forest, RFFI has conducted extensive restoration and sustainably managed it to ensure carbon storage and fish and wildlife habitat.

Rare forest of 500-year-old California redwood trees shaped like antlers opens to public
May, 2016, San Jose Mercury News

Many of you will remember that the Redwood Forest Foundation sold Shady Dell to Save the Redwoods League in November, 2011. This preserved the 957-acre coastal parcel of unique 500 year old redwoods and access to thousands of acres of remote coastal forestland. This transaction was also part of RFFI's long term financial strategy to develop revenue streams that did not rely on timber production, while allowing us to implement our restoration-based forest stewardship. Shady Dell now enters its next phase, opening to the public.

Discussion with Mark Welther, President & CEO, Redwood Forest Foundation
March, 2016, KMUD Radio

SANCTUARY FOREST RADIO HOUR "Sustainable Forestry In Our Time" includes a discussion on local and regional options and obstacles to sustainable forest management, how large timberland owners are using innovative approaches to meet stewardship goals despite poor market condition, and how these approaches can be modified to fit the management needs of smaller landowners.

Giving Back
September, 2015, Ukiah Daily Journal

The Redwood Forest Foundation's Biochar Demonstration Project has been in development over the past several years. It has the environmental benefit of utilizing the excess woody biomass found in the overcrowded forest stands in Mendocino County and converting it into a soil amendment that sequesters carbon and reduces water and fertilizer needs. According to project coordinator Judy Harwood, biochar provides jobs in the forest, in production, and in distribution and sales. The grant from the Community Foundation will purchase equipment needed to refine the chip drying process in order to make the system more economically viable.

Biochar in the Modern World
August, 2015, Forest & River News, pp. 14-16

...We learned that a thoughtful approach to woody biomass extraction can and will address both the need: 1) to address fuel loading to reduce the risk of wildfire, 2) to retain those key habitat components necessary to insure forest biodiversity, and 3) to provide an opportunity for a community to be fully engaged in the process of securing, processing, and protecting forests resources for all concerned...

Harwood honored as 'Founder' by the Redwood Forest Foundation
July, 2015, Ukiah Daily Journal

Art Harwood with wife Becky, daughter Judith and mother, Virginia
Art Harwood with wife Becky, daughter Judith and mother, Virginia

On July 18, Kathleen Moxon, Redwood Forest Foundation (RFFI) board chairwoman, bestowed RFFI's highest honor, that of 'Founder,' on Art Harwood at their annual meeting held in Standish Hickey State Recreation Area. RFFI reserves the term 'Founder' and the dedication of an old growth redwood tree to those very few individuals and organizations that have played an absolutely crucial and fundamental role in helping the foundation to achieve its important mission of acquiring and conserving California's redwood forests. An old-growth redwood tree will be dedicated in his honor in Founder's Grove in the Usal Redwood Forest...

Huffman gives kudos in Fort Bragg
March, 2015, Fort Bragg Advocate-News

...The newly established [RFFI] biochar facility in Branscomb also got a visit from the congressman [Jared Huffman]. Set up on the Harwood Products millsite, and run by Judy Harwood, daughter and grand-daughter of longtime mill owners Art and Bud Harwood, the project is using demonstration plots in Usal forest, and converting trees normally considered unmarketable into a soil amendment. The idea is catching on in numerous places and is the subject of a CalFire grant program. The state forestry and fire protection agency sees biochar plants as a possible cost-effective method of thinning and reducing fire hazard in California's forests. "It's nice to see that moving forward," he said.

Interview with Jeff Calvert of CalFire regarding
Usal Redwood Forest Conservation Easement

February 5, 2015, KZYX Radio

Agreement Made on Usal Redwood Forest Conservation Easement
February, 2015, CAL FIRE media release, 143 KB pdf printer friendly pdf format

An agreement with the Redwood Forest Foundation Inc. (RFFI) has transferred a conservation easement to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) of nearly 50,000 acres of the Usal Redwood Forest. The agreement was reached in December, 2014 for CAL FIRE to assume responsibility for monitoring a conservation easement on the 49,576 acre Usal Redwood Forest in Mendocino and southern Humboldt counties.

Could There Be an Economic Rebirth for Rural America?
August, 2014, Huffington Post

. . . One opportunity for patient capital investing can be found in support of our Redwood and Fir forests. The rise of excessive woody biomass in our forest has taken a toll. Biomass is one of the few renewable resources that can create greater problems when not used. It increases catastrophic forest fires, prevents conifer growth, and reduces water flowing into streams and tributaries. Fortunately the Biochar project [emphasis added] has a solution to this challenge imbalance. But without capital that has a longer time horizon for return on investment, creative ideas like the Biochar project will never be able to move beyond a demonstration site. For rural communities small amounts of funds could create great things for the economy and the environment . . .

Interview with Judy Harwood, RFFI Biochar Project Coordinator
June, 2014, KMUD Radio

Party for the Planet in Ukiah
April, 2014, Ukiah Daily Journal

The third annual "Party for the Planet," an all-day Earth Day celebration for the whole family is scheduled for Saturday, April 19, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Parducci Winery's organic garden and tasting room . . . The Redwood Forest Foundation will be giving away 125 additional trees . . .

Biochar and conservation burn training in Ukiah April 11
April, 2014, Ukiah Daily Journal

The Sonoma Biochar Initiative and Sonoma Ecology Center, in cooperation with the Mendocino County Woody Biomass Working Group and the Redwood Forest Foundation, are hosting a biochar workshop and conservation burn training to be held on Friday, April 11 at the Ukiah Conference Center and Ingel-Haven Ranch in Potter Valley.

Parducci Wine Cellars to throw a Party for the Planet
April, 2014, Ukiah Daily Journal

Parducci Wine Cellars is hosting "Party for the Planet," a free Earth Day celebration, Saturday, April 19, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the winery's organic garden and tasting room . . . Free oak and redwood tree seedlings will be given away by the Redwood Forest Foundation . . .

The League's Shady Dell Work is Honored
July, 2013, Save The Redwoods League

Save the Redwoods League's work in preserving the Shady Dell tract on the southern end of the Lost Coast and adjacent to the Usal Redwood Forest, home of the famous candelabra trees, recently earned a special honor. The League was named a "Founder" and a Founder's Tree was dedicated by the Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. (RFFI).

The Conservation Fund honored as Founder by the Redwood Forest Foundation
June, 2013, Redwood Times

Kathy Moxon, president [of RFFI], a Humboldt County resident, acknowledged The Conservation Fund for their enlightened leadership, extraordinary financial support and long-term professional guidance in helping to fulfill RFFI's mission. Their vision, diligence, and willingness to address complex and sometimes adverse situations demonstrates their deep and abiding interest in the ultimate well-being of the residents of this region and California as a whole. They collaborated with conservation partners to complete a complex regional conservation transaction valued at $25.5 million that impacted an area one-and-a half times the size of the city of San Francisco.

Redwood Forest Foundation dedicates majestic old redwoods to honor Founders
June, 2013, Ukiah Daily Journal

On June 12, the Redwood Forest Foundation (RFFI) dedicated five majestic redwood trees and bestowed its highest honor, that of "Founder," on four organizations and two individuals.

RFFI honored The Conservation Fund, the Wildlife Conservation Board, Save the Redwoods League, State Coastal Conservancy, and Donald S. Kemp, PhD. and Edgar B. Kemp, Jr.

RFFI begins sustainable logging in Usal Redwood Forest
October, 2012, Redwood Times

On Sept. 11, Shuster's Logging hauled the first load of logs out of the Usal Redwood Forest since the forest was purchased by the Redwood Forest Foundation in October 2007. Schuster's delivered 4,000 board feet of redwood logs to the Redwood Empire Mill in Philo.

On Sept. 13, the first load of 3,690 board feet of Douglas fir was delivered to the Schmidbauer Lumber, Inc. mill in Eureka. To date that mill has received four loads with a total volume of 15,890 board feet of Douglas fir.

A Grand Experiment to Rein in Climate Change
October, 2012, New York Times

The Redwood Forest Foundation, created to promote sustainable forestry but also to keep timber jobs in Mendocino County, is considering selling offset credits. Its biggest asset is the 50,000-acre Usal Redwood Forest, where Mr. Hrubes was working, which the foundation acquired in 2007 with a $65 million bank loan. The foundation needs to pay down its debt. It reaped $19.5 million selling a conservation easement last year, but the idea of a new revenue source is alluring.

"When you need an economic return, one way is to maximize timber harvest," said Tom Tuchmann, the group's acting executive director. "The other way is to look at nontraditional value streams."

RFFI works to sustain a way of life and protect forests
September, 2012, Redwood Times

President of Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. (RFFI) Kathleen Moxon was the guest speaker at last week's Garberville Rotary Club.

RFFI responds

RFFI is very pleased with the excellent coverage of our efforts in the Redwood Times. We would like clarify some points in the Times article.

Kathleen Moxon, President of Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. (RFFI), the guest speaker at last week's Garberville Rotary Club, is also presently the Director of Redwood Coast Rural Action and was previously the Director of Community Strategies of the Humboldt Area Foundation.

The Times reported that "(RFFI) currently owe $65 million on the loan with hopes of paying it off within the 20-year agreement." While it's true that we would like to pay off our debt in 20 years, it is also true that our structure still allows RFFI to retain the property if more time is required.

The other issue we would like to clarify is that RFFI, after five years of restoration work, is beginning our first logging operations. Logging levels are low as we continue to restore the forest; we will be sustainably harvesting trees for the economic, social and environmental benefits they provide.

Finally, we would like to clarify that the conservation easement is held by The Conservation Fund as opposed to the state. It may be that the Fund transfers the easement to a state agency, such as Cal-Fire, but for the time being it is held by the Fund.

Land conservation benefits from economic downturn
December, 2011, San Francisco Chronicle

One of the biggest deals this year was by the Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit, which purchased a $20 million conservation easement preventing development in the 49,678-acre Usal Redwood Forest, next to the rugged Lost Coast north of Fort Bragg. That deal, which allows the nonprofit Redwood Forest Foundation to use profits from logging to pay for habitat restoration, also included the purchase by Save the Redwoods League of a uniquely twisted stand of old-growth "candelabra" redwoods.

Redwood Forest Foundation secures future of Usal forest
November, 2011, The Willits News

The Redwood Forest Foundation has concluded two transactions that will preserve in perpetuity 50,000 acres of the Usal Redwood Forest acquired in 2007. The recent transactions, totaling $25.5 million, will be used to pay off $65 million to Bank of America used to purchase the original tract from the Hawthorne Timber Company. The area is located west of Leggett and Piercy and is adjacent to the Sinkyone Wilderness Park.

Lin Barrett on KGO Radio News
"WCB Staff recommends approving Usal Forest Project"
November 4, 2011

Shady Dell deal preserves majestic redwood forest
November, 2011, San Francisco Chronicle

The nonprofit Redwood Forest Foundation sold Shady Dell outright to the Redwoods League for $5.5 million. The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit, then purchased a $20 million conservation easement preventing development in the 49,678-acre Usal Redwood Forest, which the Forest Foundation still owns.

The $25.5 million deal will preserve the entire forest in perpetuity and allow the foundation to start paying back the $65 million loan it used to purchase the land.

Usal Forest easement approved by Wildlife Conservation Board
August, 2011, Redwood Times

The Redwood Forest Foundation recently announced that California's Wildlife Conservation Board approved $19,500,000 in funding for the conservation easement on Usal Redwood Forest. The funding was awarded to The Conservation Fund, which will purchase and oversee the terms of the easement.

Funding for Usal Redwood Forest Easement Approved:
Something to celebrate and thanks for your help!

July, 2011, Sierra Club

As observed by Richard Gienger from the special July 26th hearing where the funding was finally approved, the WCB members and Legislature Representatives focused on the merits of the program and "how the easement supported the Coho Recovery Strategy, how the easement would be enforced, the 2.9% per year cutting limitation, and prevention of road-related sedimentation. It was noted that the easement requires reference to the standards and procedures found in the Weaver/Hagans Forest and Ranch Road Manual."

Putting aside 20 years of 'division and mistrust' over North Coast forests
July, 2011, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Guest Opinion by Mark Lovelace, chairman of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and Kendall Smith, chairwoman of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.

On Tuesday, the state Wildlife Conservation Board has the opportunity to help secure a new vision for forest management for coastal Northern California by funding a conservation easement for the Usal Forest.

After 20 years of division and mistrust, the core of our region's dialogue around timber issues has changed. With the worst of the past behind us, our community is ready to support a new vision of an ecologically and economically sustainable future for the region's redwood forests.

Art Harwood on KMUD Radio News
"WCB Staff recommends approving Usal Forest Project"
July 19, 2011

Spectacular waste in redwood forests
July, 2011, SF Examiner, Op Ed by Steven Greenhut

Goldwater Institute pundit pits his appraisal of the status of redwoods, based on a 6 hour drive up Highway 101 from Ukiah to Eureka, against comprehensive results yielded by National Geographic Explorer J. Michael Fay's year-long trek on foot through the redwood region..." Greenhut's Pacific Research Institute is located at One Embarcadero Center in San Francisco.

Backwoods Statecraft
May, 2011, North Coast Journal

Longtime lumberman Art Harwood is a veteran of the Timber Wars, and he remembers the summer when loggers and environmentalists started talking to each other - really talking. It was during the Redwood Summer protests of 1990. Hoping to avoid violence, a group of loggers, mill workers and environmentalists got together to establish some rules of engagement. Before long they found common ground...

Funding for Usal Redwood Forest Conservation Easement Stalled, Again
April, 2011, Northcoast Environmental Center, article by F. Thomas Cardenas

The Redwood Forest Foundation Inc., a non-profit community benefit organization, is still struggling to get Wildlife Conservation Board funding for a conservation easement on the Usal Forest in Mendocino County, three years after a quick and easy sale was supposed to be over. The proposed easement would be purchased by The Conservation Fund with major funding from the Wildlife Conservation Board.

Tracy Katelman of ForEverGreen Forestry establishes a Facebook group -
Friends of the Usal Redwood Forest - in support of the easement sale:

"Thanks RFFI for leading the way in developing new models for North Coast forestry to sustain our human and natural communities...
Read Katelman's letter

Interview with Art Harwood & Chris Kelly on KZYX radio
April 7, 2011

Interview with Art Harwood on KMUD radio
March 22, 2011

Mendocino redwoods conservation easement stalled by timber company concerns
March, 2011, Eureka Times-Standard

A timber company's concerns over transparency and land values associated with the state Wildlife Conservation Board's easement acquisitions has delayed the formation of the largest working forest in Mendocino County. The move has upset supporters of the Usal Redwood Forest Conservation Easement, a nearly 50,000-acre property located east of Leggett, near Humboldt County. An easement protects the land from development, and this particular easement is supported by both the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and the Mendocino Board of Supervisors.

Basic fairness in the woods
March, 2011, Eureka Times-Standard, guest opinion by David Simpson

MRC and HRC are laudable managers but they should forebear from further lobbying against RFFI's conservation easement. Accepting this modest deal for a remnant of heavily cutover forest seems a matter of basic fairness if nothing else, and it is hard to argue that the people of California could be paid any kind of disservice by establishing this important new model. RFFI seems to have worked hard over a long period and followed all the rules established by the WCB. The organization has been entirely open and above board in negotiations to date. It should have its day.

Usal Redwood Forest Conservation Easement
Bond Accountability, CA.gov

Keeping this property in sustainable timber production is important for its contribution to the regional timber economy. The protection of this property will advance the economic stability of the region by ensuring that this large, productive and well-located tract remains available for continued timber production, while at the same time protecting a signifcant ecosystem landscape, benefiting numerous wildlife species.

Usal Redwood Forest:
A new model for working community forests
printer friendly pdf format 1.3 MB pdf
Forestland Steward newsletter: "New Directions in Community-based Forestry"
Winter 2011

"Get a redwood tree planted in the name of someone you love"
"If you care about the environment... it really makes a wonderful gift"
Dr. Dean Edell on KGO Radio
December 2010

Willits artist wins national juried art contest
October 2010, The Willits News

Willits artist Judy Hope won the Redwood Forest Foundation's gold medal in the Paint the Redwoods Division of the Foundation's "Paint the Forests 2010 Juried Art and Photo Competition" with her oil painting: Redwoods Jedediah Smith.

Seeing the forest for the trees
October 2010, San Francisco magazine

For 150 years, California redwoods were plundered, martyred, horse-traded, and legislated to the point of near destruction. But now, implausibly, an epic convergence of whistle-blowers, tree huggers, loggers, and a family of billionaire merchants is rewriting the story of some of the world's oldest living beings.

Forests as tourism gains ground
March 2010, Ukiah Daily Journal

Art Harwood, executive director of the Redwood Forest Foundation, was a key presenter at a Geotourism Conference at the Scotia Hotel in Scotia on March 11.

Discussion on Restoration
with Art Harwood, Richard Gienger, John Rogers, Mike Fay & Mitch Farrow
on KMUD radio, March 8, 2010

Redwood Futures brings together forest stakeholders, working session in Redway this Saturday
March 2010, Redwood Times

Residents of southern Humboldt and northern Mendocino willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work on behalf of the redwood bioregion are invited to attend the Redwood Futures Working Session this Saturday, March 13, from 12:30 to 5 p.m., at the Redway School gymnasium.

Thousands of Baby Redwoods Find New Homes in Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino Counties
February 2010, Lake County Record-Bee

On Saturday the Redwood Forest Foundation distributed thousands of young redwood trees in conjunction with the Redwood Futures Summit, featuring J. Michael Fay, held at Mendocino College in Ukiah, CA.

Redwood Transect - The Challenge and the Opportunity
December 2009, John Rogers in Forest & River News

Mike Fay and Lindsey Holm's recent transect through the redwood region resulted in a front page cover story in the October issue of National Geographic: "Redwoods--The Super Trees" by Joel Bourne.

Good holiday shopping deal
"Plant a redwood tree in someone's name..."

Dr. Dean Edell on KGO Radio
December 2009  

Adopting baby redwoods
Interview with Lin Barrett on KGO Radio News
November 2009  

Anyone want to sponsor a baby tree?
Group trying to plant 70,000 of them

November 2009, Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Thousands of foot-tall orphaned baby redwood trees sit in rows in a Humboldt County greenhouse, products of the ongoing economic slump and changes in forestry practices.

National Geographic explorer speaks at ISF fundraiser; old growth forest more productive, says Fay
November 2009, Redwood Times

...they also entered the Usal Forest, now owned by Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. (RFFI), a non-profit corporation managing for sustainable timber. Fay had high praise for RFFI, describing their work as "awesome stuff," and urging the community to support them.

J. Michael Fay, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, packs the house at the Caspar Inn on October 26, 2009
November 2009, Fort Bragg Advocate-News

More than 160 people packed into the Caspar Inn to engage in a conversation with J. Michael Fay, a Wildlife Conservation Society conservationist and National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence.

From Redwood Summer to Redwood Summit
October 2009, Redwood Times

More than 850 people took part in the Redwood Summit at Humboldt State University in Arcata on Saturday, Oct 3. The main presentation featured National Geographic photographer Michael "Nick" Nichols and Explorer-in-Residence, J. Michael Fay.

The summit was organized by Connie Stewart in conjunction with Art Harwood and Kathy Moxon. Stewart is the Director of the California Center for Rural Policy at Humboldt State. Art Harwood is the Executive Director of the Redwood Forest Foundation (RFFI) and Moxon is the Director of Redwood Coast Rural Action and the vice-president of RFFI. The Foundation's impact was evident. Panelists acknowledged Richard Gienger's influence in prompting them to participate and many of the facilitators are affiliated with RFFI.

Mendocino County redwood forests featured in National Geographic documentary
September 2009, Redwood Times

Art Harwood, Executive Director of the Redwood Forest Foundation (RFFI), has just returned from Washington D.C. where he was featured on a National Geographic Society Panel in conjunction with the world premiere screening of their documentary "EXPLORER: Climbing Redwood Giants."

Art Harwood Art Harwood joins panel discussion
at the National Geographic Society
for the world premiere of their documentary
"EXPLORER: Climbing Giant Redwoods"
September 2009

Timber beasts and tree huggers: Thinking outside the box
August 2009, by Dot Brovarney, Ukiah Daily Journal

Some local citizens who love redwoods began thinking outside the box more than a dozen years ago. Their mission: sustainability of this dwindling resource on the North Coast. Their plan: create a community forest that would be locally managed by community members for community members, as both an economic and ecological resource.

Forest Conservation Bill Introduced in the House
July 2009, Press Release from Congressman Mike Thompson's office

The Community Forestry Conservation Act of 2009 was introduced by Congressman Mike Thompson and a bi-partisan group of Representatives and Senators... Supported by a broad coalition of environmentalists, private landowners and the timber industry, this bill was introduced to protect private forestland from development while keeping intact private property rights, and the jobs and businesses that are tied to the land.

Congressman Thompson Attends RFFI Annual Meeting
Sustainable Forestry Program, Upcoming 'Geographic' Article Discussed
July 2009, by Cristina Bauss & Lin Barrett, The Independent, Garberville

More than eighty people attended the annual meeting of the Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. (RFFI), which was held on July 11 in Branscomb. Among those present was First District Rep. Mike Thompson, a longtime supporter of RFFI's efforts; following presentations by several board members, Thompson closed the meeting.

County supports easement to preserve Usal Forest timberland
June 2009

On June 23, 2009, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors passed a unanimous resolution supporting the Redwood Forest Foundation's (RFFI) effort to acquire state financial support to sell a Conservation Easement on their 51,000 acre Usal Redwood Forest.

Interview with Art Harwood and Richard Gienger on KMUD radio
June 29, 2009

Preserving Forests and Business
October 2008, by Melinda Wenner, Scientific American Magazine

As forest landowners shift their attention away from logging toward more lucrative - and destructive - uses such as suburban development, forest conservation is more crucial than ever. . .

Last year the California-based Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. (RFFI)... purchased 50,635 acres of California forest for $65 million using a low-interest private loan. The organization plans to earn back money by logging and selling conservation easements.

Redwood Forest Foundation - A new approach to forest ownership
2008, University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

The redwood region along California's north coast has a history of social conflict and community strife over the logging of its forests. The basis of the conflict has been due in part to the decisions affecting local communities being made by absentee, corporate landowners.

Community Forestry Conference
October 2008

The Community Forestry Conference is a three day dialog to exchange information and ideas about the concept of "community forestry" and "community forests." Community forests differ from other private or government-owned forests in that local residents play a part in the stewardship of the forestland.

RFFI names Art Harwood as Executive Director, adds board members
8/1/08, RFFI Press Release

On August 1, 2008, the Redwood Forest Foundation (RFFI) held its 11th Annual Meeting in Fort Bragg. Board members, community partners, volunteers and friends convened at the Hawthorne Timber picnic grounds to review Foundation progress on forest management principles and the working community forest model.

Usal Redwood Forest group looks to state for forestry project funding
5/1/08, by Frank Hartzell, Fort Bragg Advocate-News

A new kind of logging company has arrived on the Mendocino County scene, promising to help bring back goliath trees and king salmon, eventually providing jobs, food, good quality lumber and help with global warming.

Partnership bidding for Pacific Lumber
1/16/08, by Mike Geniella, Santa Rosa Press Democrat

A consortium of conservation groups and private investors including Save the Redwoods League and the Bank of America [...the Nature Conservancy, Conservation Forestry LLC, Redwood Forest Foundation Inc. and Atlas Holdings LLC] announced Tuesday it will make a bankruptcy court bid for control of Pacific Lumber Co., and nearly 210,000 acres of prized North Coast timberlands.

Another Palco plan hatched
1/16/08, by John Driscoll, Eureka Times-Standard

A team of investors and conservation groups has formed to pitch its own plan to reorganize the bankrupt Pacific Lumber Co. by protecting its timberland from development but logging enough to maintain a sustainable milling operation.

Save the trees so the trees can save us
October, 2007, by Andrew Tolve, Ode Magazine

Redwood Forest Foundation intends to restore the forest to its natural state over the course of the coming century. In the meantime, the plans involve partnering with The Conservation Fund, a Virginia-based environmental group, to guard the land against future development. As the trees regenerate, local foresters will resume harvesting at a rate not exceeding 2 percent annually to preserve local jobs and help pay off the loan...

A Return on Redwoods
8/1/07, by Mark Fischetti, Scientific American Magazine

For years, special-interest groups have raised money to buy and rope off wild lands to protect them. But in June a unique partnership announced it had purchased 50,635 acres of northern California redwood forest and would preserve the land by operating it as a nonprofit business. The acquisition was funded entirely by private capital. The lead group, the Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. (RFFI), in Gualala, Calif., claims the deal creates the first nonprofit working forest in the country and could be a model for safeguarding other natural resources.

"It's always difficult to get the first transaction done," says Don Kemp, executive director of RFFI and architect of the arrangement. "I'm hoping this one will be a catalyst for others."

Timber, Environmental Interests Join Forces to Prevent Fragmentation, Development
7/3/07, by Cristina Bauss, The Independent, Garberville

At RFFI's annual meeting on June 22, longtime Petrolia resident David Simpson, an environmentalist renowned for his theater work with wife Jane Lapiner, spoke of his first meeting with Harwood. "When I met him about 20 years ago, at the height of the timber wars, I was suspicious," he said. "He was the scion of a timber family! Over the years those suspicions have been allayed, peeled away like an onion. This is a restoration of trust between environmental and timber interests. This is a celebration."

Fast forward
6/28/07, by Hank Sims, North Coast Journal

"I firmly believe that there is a change in the way that the financial world is viewing environmental issues," said Mark Lovelace . . . "I think that there's a lot of opportunity for doing these kinds of things. Not taking land out of timber production - not locking it up in a park - but just finding a better model."

Nonprofit to by 50,635-acre forest
6/16/07, by Katie Mintz, Ukiah Daily Journal

"Our dream was to own and manage timberland for the community benefit, and this is the realization of that dream," Art Harwood, president of the Redwood Forest Foundation Inc., said Friday.

Nonprofit buys 50,000 acres of redwoods
6/15/07, by Tim Reiterman, Los Angeles Times

Harwood said the land, acquired from Hawthorne Timber Co., was heavily logged in the 1980s and '90s and now consists primarily of second-growth redwood and Douglas fir. "There are a few old-growth trees scattered out there, but we will not be cutting them," he said.

BofA Funds First Private Forest Conservation Purchase
6/15/07, by GreenBiz

The deal will protect a wide swath of the Usal redwood forest in Mendocino County, about 130 miles north of San Francisco, which as a region has seen a long struggle between environmental conservationists and logging and forestry interests.

Letter from Governor Schwarzenegger's office
6/14/07, by Mike Chrisman, California Secretary for Resources

On behalf of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, I would like to offer my congratulations to Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. (RFFI) and Bank of America on their agreement to preserve 50,635 acres of Usal Redwood Forest. With the assistance of US Forest Capital, LLC, this exemplary agreement will serve as a model for privately-funded forest acquisition for conservation purposes.

Redwood Summer:
BofA in First Private Equity Forest Conservation Deal

6/14/07, by Todd Woody, Business 2.0
6/14/07 Press Release; photo: Green Wombat

These days the threat to redwood forests is not so much from clear-cutting but from subdividing, said Pete Mattson, a foundation board member and chairman of the Sonoma Land Trust. Timber owners increasingly are finding it more profitable to sell off pieces of their land to developers than to log. "I've been anti-logging for a long time," Mattson told Green Wombat. "But now I've come to see that logging is critical to preserving forests and keeping wildlife corridors intact."

$65 million financing for Mendocino forest
6/14/07, by Tom Abate, San Francisco Chronicle

Lawrence Selzer, chief executive of the Conservation Fund, a national environmental group based in Virginia, praised the deal as an "innovative partnership ... to protect the ecologically rich and economically productive" forest. ...

Community-based ownership models work
5/14/07, by David Simpson, Eureka Times-Standard

RFFI became the first organization in the United States to be granted federal non-profit status expressly for the purpose of managing timber for harvest. It was able to do so because conservation was built into the very structure of the organization...

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