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Redwood Forest Foundation

Spring 2017 Newsletter

How Carbon Helps The Forest
by Mark Welther, President & Chief Executive Officer

Mark Welther
Mark Welther
President and Chief Executive Officer
Redwood Forest Foundation

For the first time in RFFI’s ten-year ownership of the Usal Forest, we are on solid financial ground. This is due in large part to the sale of carbon sequestration credits received since we started sales in late 2015. Now our vision of a sustainable working community forest is on the horizon. I can’t overemphasize the importance of Usal’s carbon project. It is allowing RFFI to retire debt and begin managing Usal the “RFFI Way.” .

Here are the answers to Frequently Asked Questions
about RFFI’s carbon project:

How do carbon sales contribute to forest health?

(a) By requiring RFFI to leave trees standing for at least 100 years; and (b) by reducing the reliance on redwood and Douglas fir harvests to pay for debt and forest management. In 2016, carbon revenue allowed RFFI to reduce harvest by two-thirds from 7.1 MMBF (million board-feet) in 2015 to a more sustainable 2.1 MMBF in 2016!

How do carbon sales contribute to RFFI’s financial health?

RFFI bought the Usal Forest in 2007 with a $65 million bank loan. At that time, few foresaw the dramatic impact carbon would have on our long-term success - our plans had relied almost exclusively on timber revenue. Now, over the past 18 months, carbon sales have reduced our debt by more than 25%. For at least ten years (as long as California has a carbon program), Usal will be able to add carbon credits each year based on forest growth.

Carbon sales bring in a lot of money. Does RFFI still need donations?

YES – terms of the bank loan require that most carbon money goes toward paying Usal’s debt, with only a small percentage allocated to forest operations. Everything else depends upon your support. River restoration for Coho recovery, the Biochar project, forest job development, educational and recreational programs ALL rely upon your donation!

What Can I Do?

We count on you to generously support the RFFI programs you love. Create a legacy, donate to “Redwood Forests for Our Future,” Plant a Redwood Now, volunteer, and look for other opportunities on our website. Please, get involved! See www.rffi.org for details.

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