Working Woodlands landowners will receive high-quality integrated certified forest management and forest protection services. The Conservancy’s Pennsylvania Forest Conservation Program is now a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) group manager. This status allows the Conservancy to provide FSC-certified planning and management services to private landowners. Cooperating with a select group of the state’s best private forest consultants, our forestry staff and partner consulting foresters will conduct rigorous forest inventories and develop FSC-certified management plans for enrolled landowners.
These plans will then be coupled with long term management agreements such as working forest conservation easements to protect private lands from conversion to non-forest uses and ensure that the highest standard of forest management is practiced. Cooperating properties will be certified and managed under the Conservancy’s FSC certificate. All forest products produced from Working Woodlands properties will be FSC certified including conventional solid wood for veneer and timber, as well as low-grade fiber for pulp and woody biomass for energy production.
For initial program entry, qualifying landowner's will start by interacting with Conservancy staff to assess and document the owner’s goals and objectives. Based on our initial meetings, the Conservancy and Blue Source will provide the landowner with a Working Woodlands opportunity summary tailored to the landowner’s property and goals. The opportunity summary will outline the potential benefits and relationship offered through enrollment in Working Woodlands.
An extensive forest, wildlife and carbon inventory will be conducted throughout your property to evaluate current forest and wildlife habitat conditions. An initial analysis, report, and map set of your forest resources will be generated to showcase various elements of your forest including tree and shrub species, forest product and carbon volumes, wildlife habit, regeneration potential, sites of special significance, and much more.
The forest inventory will be coupled with an ecological-potential & biodiversity inventory and analysis using our unique Forest Restoration (FoRest) Decision Tool. FoRest is a unique ecological decision tool that will assist landowners and land managers to better manage their working forestlands for biodiversity conservation by explicitly correlating forest attributes to economic and biodiversity values. The three components of the tool include: 1) a Vegetation Prediction Index (VPI) to analyze, predict and map potential of occurrence of upland forest communities, 2) wildlife habitat profiles indicating habitat preference scores for over 200 bird and mammal species, and 3) a silvicultural modeling component to identify appropriate treatments to optimize forest product and biodiversity goals.
Based on the forest resource inventory of your property, we will develop a custom FSC-certified forest management plan providing management guidelines, maps, and timeline for forest and habitat management activities on your property needed to achieve your goals and objectives. This management plan will cover a minimum 10-year timeframe.
Because the landowner’s forest is FSC certified, all forest products flowing from the property may be sold as FSC certified wood. FSC certification may provide Working Woodlands landowners the opportunity to capitalize on improved market access, emerging forest product markets, and increased revenue opportunities.
Working Woodlands landowners will be eligible to receive payments for forest carbon. Capitalizing on our management agreements and FSC-certified plans, Blue Source, a leading carbon project developer and marketing firm, will generate high quality carbon offset payments for Working Woodlands landowners. A portion of the carbon payment will cover the Conservancy’s upfront and ongoing certified forest management and carbon market access costs including full forest inventory, FSC planning and plan implementation as well as Blue Source’s carbon project development, monitoring and verification costs. Carbon revenue sharing between the landowner, the Conservancy, and Blue Source will allow landowners to receive full FSC forest management and carbon development and marketing services with no out-of-pocket costs for entry into the program. The majority of FSC-certified product revenues will remain with the landowner.February 15, 2011