Redwood Forest Foundation
Usal Redwood Forest Conservation Easement Approved
Closing Expected September 30, 2011
by Tom Tuchmann, President, US Forest Capital
The Redwood Forest Foundation is delighted to announce that on July 26, 2011, California's Wildlife Conservation Board approved a $19,500,000 grant to The Conservation Fund that will help to permanently conserve the
Usal Redwood Forest.
This grant, plus an additional $500,000 raised by the Fund itself, will allow the Fund to purchase a $20 million conservation easement from the Redwood Forest Foundation.
Although RFFI fully intends to continue to own and manage the Usal Forest, this easement sets standards in place that will protect the forest in perpetuity, no matter who owns it. The easement establishes a fundamental conservation scenario that includes a prohibition against development and subdivision, a 2.9% inventory harvest limitation, Forest Stewardship Certification, and transitioning to uneven-aged management over a 50-year period. These permanent standards will be monitored by The Conservation Fund as the easement holder. RFFI hopes to grow both the conservation practices and economic benefits of the forest over time, as it makes good on its financial obligations.
Together with the previously approved $5.5 million parcel sale to Save the Redwoods League to protect the 955 acre Shady Dell property (which includes the Enchanted Forest and the coastal portion of Usal), the easement comprises a regional transaction valued at $25.5 million. It will create the largest working forest easement in California and assures that the 50,000 acre Usal forest will remain, in perpetuity, a working forest for the economic and environmental benefit of our communities.
While funding for the conservation easement and the fee sale have both been approved, RFFI still has much work to do to close these two transactions, which is expected to occur on September 30, 2011. RFFI would like to thank all of you, our supporters, who worked so hard and tirelessly in support of the easement. Your help made a difference!