The Working Forest Fund | United Country Real Estate

October 18, 2023
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Learn about the Working Forest Fund and the importance of conserving timberland.

The Working Forest Fund

The Working Forest Fund identifies and acquires the most important at-risk private forests with vital support from the philanthropic community and state and federal agencies.

In the coming decades, forestry experts anticipate that over 37 million acres (about twice the area of South Carolina) of forest will be lost. When forests are cut down, they are often never set to recover.  This is why the conservation fund has pioneered this effective and financially sustainable model, The Working Forest Fund. The goal over the next 10-15 years is to save 5 million acres of the most exceptional and highest conservation value forests.

Importance of Conservation

There are many reasons why it is so vital to save our nation’s forests: climate mitigation, economic opportunity, and clean water. With each 5 million acres of forest lost, the climate impact is equivalent to burning over a trillion pounds of coal. If they were protected, the benefit could be equal to 5 billion in total economic impact from the forestry and recreation economies and 6,500 miles of rivers and streams would stay protected.

Deforestation has deadly impacts on the health of the people who directly depend on forests. Since the 1600s, America has lost 75% of its original forests.

Three stepping stones lead to the path of deforestation: parcelization, fragmentation, and conversion. Parcelization happens when the land is broken into parcels, but it remains forested. Fragmentation is where some forest remains but part of it is permanently lost.  Finally, conversion is when all forest is lost, and the land is transformed for non-forest use.

The Working Forest Fund

To fight against the forest loss, The Working Forest Fund buys land that they assess is the most at risk and of utmost importance. They then manage that land while protecting the forest and the local forestry jobs. The Working Forest Fund then starts the process of a permanent conservation easement that will protect the forest against fragmentation and conversion into commercial land. After this easement is secured, the land is then resold to a public or private buyer.

Working Forest Fund is focused on the scale of the transaction. Nationwide, the vast majority of conservation projects range between 1,000-acre to 10,000-acre parcels.

Forests are the foundation of our world, and this is why we must protect them. Supporting the Working Forest Fund will help keep at-risk forests shielded from conversions into commercial use. The Conservation Fund currently looks to raise capital to permanently secure the first one million acres of critical forests. The long-term goal is to protect 5 million acres.

United Country Real Estate has played a large part of the buying and selling of timberland for a century with recreation, conservation and appreciation as our passion. United Country has excelled in real estate and auction services, spanning across all 50 states and beyond, with an unmatched marketing approach. Contact us to find your dream timberland property or work with a timberland expert today!