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 2021 Enviva Forest Conservation Fund matching-fund grant recipients are:
“The projects supported by the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund are true long-term investments in the stewardship of our forests. By supporting these landscapes and safeguarding against their encroachment, we help sustain sources of clean air and water, protect threatened wildlife and plant life, and provide valuable recreational opportunities. The effects of these investments will be seen in these communities for years to come.”
A permanent conservation easement will be placed on one tract of 140 acres of bottomland hardwood forests in the City of Franklin, Virginia. The property is part of a natural land network which sits at the intersection of two important Natural Heritage sites, the Blackwater River Main Stem Conservation site and the Antioch Swamp Stream Conservation unit, supporting several rare species and significant natural communities including anadromous fish and colonial water birds. Over 200 acres of river frontage will be conserved for the development of a public city park and natural area (dubbed the Blackwater Park) including the creation of picnic areas, and a trailhead on the Blue Water Trail that terminates at the River Walk Park in downtown Franklin.
More than 1,600 acres of floodplain wetlands and important natural areas wetlands will be conserved along the Chowan River and Keel Creek, a tributary, in Bertie and Hertford Counties, North Carolina, and along Hoggard’s Mill Run, a tributary of the Cashie River, also in Bertie County, through acquisitions by NCCLT.
The “Chowan-Cashie Wetlands Conservation Partnership” project represents a unique community conservation partnership as it will not only result in the long-term protection of forested wetlands but will also create additional state-owned public game lands for the local community and a new public nature/historic park.
This project involves the purchase of two wetland properties totaling 568 acres in Pender and Bladen Counties, North Carolina. The land includes areas rated as exceptional for conservation and deemed to have a very high ecological significance by the N.C. Natural Heritage Program (NCNHP).
This work is part of an ongoing and larger regional land and water conservation effort that will significantly add to goals of improving and protecting water quality as well as the protection of forested wetlands. This will also provide additional public recreational opportunities. The land it supports are historic and are recognized as one of the gems of the NCWRC.
in partnership with the Virginia Department of Forestry and The Nature Conservancy, will bring an additional 657 acres of wetlands, bottomland hardwoods and working forests under the protected Nottoway River corridor. The tracts contain substantial bottomland hardwoods which contribute to water quality and support the diverse natural habitat in the Nottoway System while helping to provide much needed river access for this community.
A permanent conservation easement will be placed on 837 acres in Southampton County, Va. The tract fronts on the state scenic Nottoway River and includes just over two miles of frontage. The property contains 600 acres of wetlands including roughly 250 acres of high-quality Cypress Tupelos, and about 350 acres of mixed typical Piedmont bottomland hardwoods. The Virginia Department of Forestry will implement a forest management plan that limits harvest to what is needed to maintain or enhance the health of the mature cypress tupelo marshes along with additional habitat protections for the other hardwood areas in the wetlands to ensure long-term management and forest cover. The tract also contains an uplands portion in pine plantation which will be managed as a long-term working forest.
Please check this page often for updates regarding important Enviva Forest Conservation Fund milestones.
“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.”