Restoration Forestry - Articles & Videos
MOTHER EART NEWS - RAUL'S BLOG
In the spring of 2016, our CEO and Founder Raul D. Hernandez made his debut as a guest blogger on Mother Earth News with an in-depth look a critical piece being missed in debates over how to solve global warming. In the summer of 2016, he followed it up with a second article addressing points raised by others to the first piece.
Drawing on over two decades of experience as a conservationist and hands-on restoration forestry, Raul sheds light on the role of Old-growth forests in global cooling, and how the emerging carbon credit market could be used to protect working forests worldwide while keeping billions of tons of CO2 out of the air.
Read the full articles at MotherEarthNews.com
PS. Read the letter we send to our contacts
- Forestry, Global Warming, and the Multi-billion-Dollar Carbon-Credit Grab
- Nevermind the Politics, Forests Can Help Cool the Planet
Long-Term Ecological Goals
Forever Redwood (FR) restores Redwood forests in Northern California. FR was founded to help change the state of the earth's forests via direct action. FR believes that by truly restoring and then sustainably managing forestland on a significant scale a real difference can be made in reversing the accelerating global forest degradation, fragmentation and deforestation. With the help of many like-minded friends, the forest products industry can be changed by setting an exemplary example ecologically and economically.
Using "light-footprint" methods developed over many years, ecologically degraded forests are nurtured back into beautiful maturing Redwood forests in a couple of decades. The process works synergistically with nature by using organic inputs, native seeds, no chemicals, etc. With investor partners, FR purchases degraded Redwood forests and helps restore these titans to grow into sacred treasures for future generations while providing a reasonable return on investment via tax breaks, asset appreciation and eventual sustainable harvesting. As the forest recovers, its ecological and economical productivity multiplies making restoration a good investment.
Forestland or Future Deserts?
Deserts are being created annually by man's activities. 2.4 billion acres, an area greater in size than the continental United States, has been converted into desert by man's agricultural and development activities over the past 6,000 years. This tragedy can be reversed and the forests can be fully restored. FR is dedicated to doing this in a way that also makes economic sense in the long-term.
FR began restoring forestland in 1994. Then, like every year, demand for wood products was degrading forests in every corner of the globe. If FR restored the forest only to protect it, other forests would be logged more to meet the large wood demand. Creating another pretty forest preserve would ignore the bigger picture. The only way the forest work can grow into a permanent and significant contribution to the earth is to maintain a sustainable accommodation with the needs of the human society. Over time, FR plans to expand outside of California's Redwoods. There is no lack of degraded forestland anywhere in the world.
Ecology and Economy
FR is guided by one simple idea: ecology and economy can thrive together. FR currently works in the Redwoods of California because they were once the greatest forest in the world (the tallest trees, the greatest biomass per acre, etc). Excluding the park areas, the Redwoods have slowly been reduced to approximately 20% of their original standing volume. FR can help reverse this all-to-typical historical pattern. FR has slowly acquired timber rights and now manages over 550 acres. FR intends to play a leadership role by restoring and sustainably managing thousands of acres of Redwood forests, transforming the way industrial forestry is practiced in California's Redwoods within a few decades. Come walk where we have worked. See and feel the woods being transformed. And now, for the first time, FR is reaching out beyond its core group of investors to expand the scope of its work. FR forestry investments offer significant tax breaks in the first year and significant asset appreciation annually. They begin to yield a growing income stream after the initial forest restoration is completed, usually after a twenty-year period.
Ecology— The Restoration Work
FR's field work is done mostly by hand with only light equipment. We focus on improving standing conifer volume, species composition, tree quality and wildlife habitat while lowering fire risk and erosion on slopes and near streams. In less than a decade, the changes are dramatic and can easily be compared to unmanaged or "business-as-usual" lands in the vicinity. For example, recent research at the Andrews Experimental Forest near Eugene, Oregon shows that most logged forests require two to three hundred years to create conditions to support endangered populations of "mature-forest dependent" animals. Some of these scientists now believe that by working to enhance the forest's diversity, habitat requirements that support "mature-forest dependent" species can be created within decades instead of centuries. Only time will tell exactly how long it will take, but with each passing year, more is understood about the needs of forest plants, animals and the soil.
Economy— How To Make It Work
FR's lands have conservation easements with carefully written forest management plans that are attached to the property's deed to permanently protect the land. In the short-term, this maximizes ecological protection and tax savings for the forestland investor(s). In the long-term, this maximizes economic productivity because FR's practices enable logged forests to return much more rapidly to conditions characteristic of mature and "old-growth" ecosystems, even while the easement permits limited, sustainable, and yet eventually highly profitable timber harvesting.
We hope to restore as much of our Redwood watersheds as quickly as nature, finances and our backs allow. As the restoration develops, it will be a living example and inspiration for others. Visitors are welcome.
A Redwood Stand Before And After The First Thinning
Thirty years after heavy logging, the "cathedral ceiling" has become an impenetrable maze of branches from the canopy to the ground. You must push branches to walk or see beyond a few feet. Thinning and limbing structurally transforms the young forest, lowers the fire danger, and begins to recreate the expansive understory of the ancient forest.
Does your forestland look like the "before" photo? If so, we can help. We will be glad to schedule a site visit to your property to help evaluate the situation. A detailed list of recommendations and procedures will be provided for you to review and implement. Or we can send in our fully trained staff to accomplish the appropriate clearing. Please call or contact us to discuss your particular needs.
Please note: We will mill logs for local people in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. We will do it for a percentage of the wood and no money changes hands. We will do this as along as the log(s) was from reclaimed work or was from a tree that blew over in a storm. We do not do milling trades from logging operations or other harvesting operations.
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little. - Edmund Burke
Restoration Forestry & Becoming a Conservation-Investor: Q&A
Raul Hernandez, Founder and CEO, hosted a live Q&A Jan. 2019 for folks interested in becoming a conservation-investor in a restoration forestry project.A
The Economic Aspect of Ecoforestry
by Dr. Hans Burkhardt
This article first appeared in the International Journal of Ecoforestry in the spring of 1996. It is excerpted and reprinted on our website with permission from the author, Mr. Hans Burkhardt, Ph.D. While he was alive, Mr. Burkhardt was closely affiliated with OGA and his research is a guiding principle of OGA's field work.
A Prescription That Makes Environmental Protection and Maximum Perpetual Revenue Flow Compatible
For anyone who is at all aware of our planetary ecological condition, it is starkly clear that our society must stop its current suicidal mode of action, and we must find more sustainable ways to live and do business. While it is critical that we make sweeping changes in several areas, such as population reduction, over-consumption and fossil fuel use, my purpose is to focus on one critical area - our relationship to the native forest resource.
My intention here is to give information that can be adapted and applied anywhere by people who wish to know how one can restore and sustainably use depleted forest resources. I make my recommendations with deference to economic considerations, because in our money-driven society it is economic viability that will bear strongly on the success or failure of whatever changes we plan to bring about. Consensus opinion assumes that high monetary profits from our forests and good ecological protection are mutually exclusive. However, it is my conclusion, drawn from closely investigating several examples of sound forest management as well as my own experience derived from restoring an inventory-depleted forest, that we can have both: what is good for the survival of the forest is good for the well-being of local communities if only we are patient and wise enough to create such a condition.
How Trees Grow
Tree growth can be divided into three phases:
February 11, 2015
The Lumber Man In Charge of Climate Policy
Bay Area billionaire Robert Fisher profits by logging California's North Coast forests, even as Governor Jerry Brown has tapped him to help implement the state's anti-global warming agenda.
By: Will Parrish
The world's largest remaining contiguous stand of old-growth redwood forest resides in Humboldt Redwoods State Park in Northern California. On the park's northwestern flank, six people gathered last May to oppose a logging venture on adjacent private property. For four days, the activists shadowed the loggers and their supervising forester, as well as three Humboldt County sheriff's deputies who were keeping a watchful eye on the forest defenders in case they edged over the park boundary.
The activists sought to obstruct the logging operation. But initially, the Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC) loggers ignored them, toppling Douglas firs and madrone within thirty feet of where the protesters stood. The supervising forester dispassionately informed them that if any of them died, it would be ruled a suicide. Soon after, a tree crashed against the dead top of a smaller one, sending an errant wood chunk sailing perilously close to an activist's head.