RFFI is engaged in a complex, multi-faceted effort to certify the carbon that is and will be sequestered through implementation of its conservation strategy. After four years of diligent work with our advisor, US Forest Capital, RFFI has successfully registered 3,166,372 tons of Usal Redwood Forest carbon with California’s Climate Action Reserve (CAR). The Usal Redwood Forest carbon project is one of the largest forest carbon sequestration projects in the country. CAR registration is a significant step towards registering the Usal Forest’s carbon project with the California Air Resources Board (ARB). As part of CAR’s early action program, an independent third-party verified the carbon sequestered by Usal’s sustainable forest management practices. The second step, i.e., independent verification of carbon measurements by a third-party verifier, was completed in May 2016. This moves the project forward for review and final registration by California’s Air Resources Board. It is anticipated that the Usal Forest carbon project will be approved by the ARB by late 2016. With ARB approval, Usal’s carbon credits will be registered as “compliance” credits that can be sold to companies that are required to offset carbon emissions by California’s landmark climate change policies.
On May 5, 2016, the Redwood Forest Foundation was honored by California’s Climate Action Reserve as a Top 2015 Project Developer for Usal Redwood Forest Company’s Carbon Offset Project. RFFI was recognized for achieving the highest level of emissions reduction of any project in 2015.
Carbon registration is an essential step in RFFI’s long-standing plan to develop revenue streams that do not rely exclusively on timber production. The sale of carbon credits is part of a strategy that will allow the Redwood Forest Foundation to further its sustainable forest stewardship program. This revenue source will support RFFI’s sustainable forest management by reducing the financial pressure to harvest trees to service our debt, allowing RFFI to improve forest health and address climate change.