The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund, established by Enviva and administered by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, is assisting with the preservation and conservation programs that span more than 5,000 acres of environmentally sensitive bottomland and wetland forests in North Carolina and Virginia.
The 2020 Enviva Forest Conservation Fund matching-fund grant recipients are:
“While we know that strong forest markets are critical to keeping forests healthy, we also recognize there are places of high conservation value that need to be preserved and protected. We continue to be impressed by the quality of projects put forth by these organizations, and know that they will support long-term conservation, enhancement of biological diversity, and ecosystem sustainability within the coastal communities of North Carolina and Virginia.”
This project will support two separate contiguous tracts in Southampton County, Virginia totaling 1,139 acres and more than 43,000 feet of stream corridor. The properties, which will be held in conservation easement by VOF, are adjacent to “Three Creeks,” a tributary of the Nottoway River in southeastern Virginia.
This project involves the purchase of two contiguous wetland tracts totaling 1,679 acres in Brunswick and New Hanover Counties, North Carolina. Once purchased, NCCLT will offer them to the state of North Carolina to be managed by the Wildlife Resource Commission as game lands, open to the public.
The purchase of 504 acres which lie in the ancestral territory of the indigenous Nansemond people of the Nansemond River, a 20-mile long tributary of the James River, will support multiple conservation plans in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Nansemond plan to own and manage the property as a cultural resource.
“The coastal forests of Virginia are a precious natural resource, and the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund will play an important role in protecting and conserving them. Programs such as the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund help families and other landowners keep these forests as forests for generations to come. Both our environment and our communities benefit when private industry develops and supports these types of conservation efforts.”
“Enviva is one of the fastest-growing companies in the wood pellet industry. It turns byproducts of sawtimber harvests into renewable fuel that is in great demand around the world. By creating this Forest Conservation Fund, Enviva is ensuring that North Carolina’s bottomland forests will be sustained and protected for generations to come.”
“Ensuring that working forests are sound habitats for a wide range of bird species includes maintaining diversity within individual forest stands and at the landscape level. Enviva’s plan to identify and protect specific wetland forest types, such as Atlantic White Cedar, and to continue to enhance management of working forests, is a great step toward this goal for the Coastal Plain of Virginia and North Carolina.”
“I applaud the Endowment and Enviva for this innovative and positive agreement to ensure conservation and management of our critical forested wetland habitats. This agreement is the model of how corporate America can and should work to truly define sustainability for the future. Enviva’s commitment to protect diminishing hardwoods, cedars, pocosins and bays will help ensure a healthy future for both important habitats and forest product supply.”
“Increasingly, conservation successes will be defined by the convergence of business and the environment. The partnership of the U. S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities and Enviva is a great example of how the innovation of business can accelerate the achievement of conservation on the ground. The enhanced management of family-owned forests, the permanent protection of the most sensitive areas, and the clear signal that healthy markets for forest products translates into forests being kept as forests rather than being converted to shopping centers, all are great outcomes of this strong partnership.”
“I commend Enviva for their new initiative to conserve bottomland hardwood forests in North Carolina. This project is a great example of private enterprise leading conservation efforts across our state.”
“The hardwood forests of the Southeast have been actively harvested for centuries. Unfortunately, all-too-often harvesting was done by ‘tak’n the best and leav’n the rest’. What’s often needed to restore those forest to resiliency and to help keep the forests healthy and productive are markets for the low-value trees left behind. The Enviva/Endowment plan is to harvest and allow for natural regeneration on operable sites while protecting stands on fragile soils in order to accomplish both economic and ecological objectives.”
“The raw materials that supply the wide range of forest products – from paper to lumber and more – are heavily dependent upon stewardship by our nation’s family forest owners. Just paying the annual taxes, insurance and maintenance on those lands can be a challenge. To have a for-profit corporation commit to helping fund long-term forest conservation efforts to help these landowners defray part of these costs and keep their forests as forests benefits us all.”
“An enduring commitment to sustainable forest management and a diversity of strong markets for wood products helped forest owners and managers increase the volume of growing trees in our country by 50 percent since the 1950s. Those forests provide clean air and water, wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities and economic benefits that improve the quality of life of millions of Americans. Conservation efforts are central to the business of sustainable forestry, helping to protect unique places and sensitive areas essential to the overall health and vitality of our forests. We applaud Enviva’s commitment to sustainable forestry and the people who make it possible.”
“Our agency believes in strong forest markets and the simultaneous conservation of declining forest types. We look forward to working closely with the partners to achieve effective landowner outreach, timely reforestation and active management that will strengthen forest health.”