Expands restoration and conservation of sensitive forest ecosystems and wetlands
U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Greenville, SC
For IMMEDIATE RELEASE (June 6, 2019)
Bethesda, Md. and Greenville, SC – The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund (the Fund) today announced the recipients of its 2019 suite of grants. The projects funded will help conserve a total of more than 7,450 acres and protect ecologically sensitive bottomland forests in the coastal regions of Virginia and North Carolina.
“The mid-Atlantic region is one of the most biodiverse and beautiful in the nation, which is why it’s so important to work with local conservation organizations to ensure the health and future of these forests and watersheds,” said Enviva Chairman and CEO, John Keppler. “While we know that robust forest markets such as ours are the key to healthy forests, we also recognize there are places of high conservation value that need to be preserved and protected, and we are pleased to work with this year’s grantees to work toward that common goal.”
The 2019 Enviva Forest Conservation Fund grant recipients include:
- The Virginia Outdoors Foundation: A permanent conservation easement will be placed on two adjacent tracts of Bottomland Hardwood Forests in Southampton County, Virginia. The parcels are rated as “very high” for forest conservation by the Virginia Department of Forestry. The protection of these acres will provide water quality benefits for the Nottoway River and two additional threatened and endangered waters (Racoon Creek & Three Creek). Several state-listed mussel species and nine rare vascular plant species will benefit from this conservation initiative.
- C. Coastal Land Trust, in partnership with N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and Marine Corps Air Station: This project will conserve a diversity of wetland and upland habitats in a growing conservation corridor through a military, state, and non-profit partnership. Referred to as the Salters Creek Landing project, more than 5,490 acres of land and over 11 miles of waterfront will be protected in Carteret County, North Carolina through a fee simple acquisition.
- Three Rivers Land Trust: A total of 500 high priority acres within the Barnes Creek/Poison Fork Watershed will be protected via an easement. The acreage falls within the Greater Uwharrie region of the North Carolina Piedmont, which is considered a priority landscape by the conservation community. Most of the property is bottomland hardwood forest adjacent to the Uwharrie National Forest.
- Tar River Land Conservancy: A fee simple purchase will protect approximately 200 acres of which 81 acres are considered flood plain forest in Granville County, North Carolina. The property is located on the Tar River, a waterway that has historically been impacted by East Coast hurricanes. This acquisition will help protect habitat for 15 at-risk species documented in the Tar River near the purchased tract.
“The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund continues to support long-term conservation, enhancement of biological diversity, and ecosystem sustainability within the coastal regions of North Carolina and Virginia,” said Endowment President and CEO, Carlton Owen. “We continue to be impressed by the quality of projects and know that future generations will have the opportunity to value the contributions made possible by the Fund.”
Including those announced today, the Fund has awarded 17 projects totaling almost $2 million in grants over the past four years. An estimated 24,044 acres will have been protected when all of this year’s projects reach completion. The forests conserved as a part of the Fund help clean drinking water, purify the air, buffer structures from storms, and provide habitat for many species of wildlife, while at the same time providing jobs and economic opportunity for rural families and private landowners.
About the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is a $5 million, 10-year program established by Enviva Holdings, L.P. in December 2015 to permanently protect environmentally sensitive bottomland and wetland forests. Administered by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the Fund awards grants annually to nonprofit organizations and government agencies for conservation projects in North Carolina and Virginia. The next grant cycle will begin in late 2019. To learn more about the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund, please visit envivaforestfund.org.
About the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities. To learn more about the Endowment, please visit our website at www.usendowment.org.
Yonina Mrose, Vice President of Communications and Public Relations
Enviva Holdings L.P.
Alicia Cramer, Senior Vice President
U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities