Long-term Ecological Goals
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.