Jessica Boone and Everett McGinley each reap economic benefits by managing healthy maple forests that both store carbon and preserve wildlife habitat.
Jessica Boone and Everett McGinley each own ecologically valuable forest land in the Cold Hollows region of Vermont
Vermont’s private forests play a key role in mitigating climate change – they store four times as much carbon as the state’s vehicles release each year. Selling forest carbon credits to companies and individuals working to reduce their carbon footprints provides a new source of income for individual landowners like Jessica Boone and Everett McGinley in Vermont’s Cold Hollows region, which helps them protect their forests. Unfortunately, carbon markets can be too costly for most owners of small forest parcels to join.
That’s why the Vermont Land Trust formed Vermont Forest Carbon LLC and teamed up with The Nature Conservancy, the Caron Dynamics Lab at the University of Vermont, and Cold Hollow to Canada, a local land stewardship and conservation organization, helping landowners overcome the cost barrier by working together as a single carbon project. This is the first large-scale aggregated forest carbon project in the country, with fifteen neighbors teaming up to sell carbon credits from their land. Together the landowners and organizations proved that not only can forest carbon offsets be a viable revenue stream for Vermont forestland owners, but through improved management practices, that they can provide enhanced water quality, flood mitigation, species diversification, and many other ecological benefits.
“On the one hand, you’re achieving some cash flow to help support your forest management goals,” says McGinley. “On the other hand, you’re doing something valuable for the planet in helping to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – so it’s a win-win, really.”
“We don’t want just a really healthy maple forest.” says Jessica “We want the entire landscape to be healthy. I’m not just looking at how I’m managing my property, I’m also talking to my neighbors.” By making the Vermont landscape more resilient to climate change and providing economic benefits for the forest landowners like Jessica and Everett who help maintain it, this natural climate solution is one that shows great promise for the future.
Learn more: https://www.vlt.org/forestcarbon
Learn more about Cold Hollow to Canada: https://www.coldhollowtocanada.org/
Read more about Jessica Boone’s story: https://www.wcax.com/content/news/Vermont-landowners-come-together-in-Amazon-partnership-project-570200561.html
Did you know: Avoiding the conversion of 1 million acres of forest each year can help keep 38 million tons of carbon dioxide sequestered in trees.