Wood pellet maker pledges to protect bottomland forests
by Brittany Patterson – ClimateWire
The world’s largest manufacturer of wood pellets today announced it will pledge $5 million over 10 years to protect thousands of acres of ecologically important bottomland forests in two Southern states where the company operates.
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities Inc. — a nonprofit organization established in 2006 in accordance with the terms of the Softwood Lumber Agreement between the United States and Canada — will award and administer matching-dollar grants from the fund. It will also create a “blue-ribbon committee” of experts to conduct a science-based review of bottomland forest management practices and advise the pellet maker, Enviva LP, of best practices.
The program has set a goal to conserve 35,000 acres of forest in North Carolina and Virginia, with a special focus on four specific ecosystems — cypress-tupelo swamps, Atlantic white cedar, pocosins and Carolina bays.
“The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is a commitment on our part to help keep forests as forests,” said Vice President of Communications Kent Jenkins. “The endowment allows us to take this commitment into our operations to build on the sustainability policies we already have to become more specific and more transparent.”
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