To meet its conservation objectives while remaining in compliance with the financing package, RFFI sold the conservation easement, and will sell carbon credits and/or other ecosystem services at a value that reflects the difference between the property's market value (industrial timber harvest, development and land appreciation) and the conservation value of the property based on [...]
RFFI paid market value for the Usal Redwood Forest based upon projected harvest levels that would be permitted under the California Forest Practices Act. However, RFFI's Conservation Plan that projects lower harvest than allowed under the Act guides the actual harvest. With this in mind, RFFI realized that it was necessary to secure financing that [...]
The Redwood Forest Foundation packaged three separate loans and borrowed 100% of the necessary capital ($65,000,000 purchase price plus transaction expenses) from the Bank of America to purchase the Usal Redwood Forest. The financing package was specifically structured to support RFFI's goal of selling a conservation easement for the property within the first three years [...]
RFFI's has engaged more than 450 residents in helping to develop recreation plans to address public enjoyment of the property while minimizing the negative impacts and dangers of unmanaged public access. RFFI has applied for grants to make some of these plans a reality. Unfortunately they have not been funded. On the other hand, RFFI's [...]
Will RFFI seek to certify the carbon that is sequestered as a result of its forest management approach?
Yes. RFFI has already accomplished this. The Usal Redwood Forest carbon project was approved by California’s Air Resources Board in late August of 2016. With ARB approval, Usal’s carbon was registered as “compliance” credits that can be sold to companies that are required to offset carbon emissions as required by California’s climate change policies. [...]
California defines Class III streams as those where no aquatic life exists and having the potential to cause sediment problems in Class I and II fish bearing streams. Current law requires that landowners exclude equipment and in some cases modify their harvest practices in these areas. Scientific research has shown that Class III stream [...]
2.9% inventory cap recognizes both substantive and community related goals. Substantively, a "percent-of-inventory" or "POI" cap will help recruit larger trees and higher inventories across the ownership regardless of market forces which may come into play. Many concerned citizens also believe that a harvest cap is one of the most simple and effective ways to [...]
RFFI's governing bylaws require that the vast majority of land that they acquire be maintained as a working forest. In this regard, RFFI is looking forward to maintaining 98.2% of Usal in working forest in perpetuity. Simultaneously, RFFI also seeks to enhance the environment and benefit the community. Given the significance and unique environmental attributes [...]
What kinds of forest management activities are taking place to support sustainable forestry on Usal?
Traditional sustainable forestry principles dictate that a landowner not harvest more timber than is grown over a period of time. Over the last four decades, however, there has been considerable and often contentious debate over whether and how this definition incorporates other measures of sustainability including conservation of old-growth, native tree species, threatened and endangered [...]
Why did RFFI sell a conservation easement on the Usal Redwood Forest? What are the benefits and how is compliance monitored?
Approximately 75% of the nation’s industrial forest changed hands between 1996 and 2008. Many new owners split off development parcels and then fragmented the larger tracts when they decided to sell their property, usually over a 5 to 15 year period. The social and economic consequences are devastating for small resource-dependent communities and the environmental [...]