NORTHEAST WILDERNESS TRUST
17 STATE STREET, SUITE 302
MONTPELIER, VT 05602
info [@] newildernesstrust.org
PRESS RELEASE, CLIMATE CHANGE & CARBON
For immediate release: March 22, 2023
Northeast Wilderness Trust (NEWT), SIG Carbon, and the Inlandsis Fund have teamed up to create an exciting new forest carbon aggregation initiative called Wildlands Carbon. Land trusts across the northeastern United States are joining forces to protect wildlands and enroll in the voluntary carbon market. Northeast Wilderness Trust, the only regional land trust that focuses exclusively on rewilding through forever-wild conservation in the Northeast, is sponsoring this initiative. Forever-Wild protection is a prerequisite for enrollment; thus, every property that participates in the initiative today will become an ancient forest of the future.
Wildlands Carbon will provide the highest quality carbon offsets for organizations committed to both reducing and offsetting their carbon footprints. Every forest enrolled in Wildlands Carbon will be free to grow wilder and older without direct disturbance from human-powered activities. This will result in unparalleled benefits for carbon storage, climate resiliency, biodiversity, habitat, watersheds, and community well-being. To enroll, each land trust must be a 501c3 non-profit and accredited by the Land Trust Alliance. In addition to providing access to natural areas for their communities, these land trusts are also taking significant action to address the entwined climate and extinction crises through the permanent legal protection of these enrolled forests from logging or development.
This barrier-breaking initiative was initially conceived by NEWT as a market-based tool to support land trusts committed to protecting important forest blocks for climate resilience and wildlife connectivity as wilderness while also re-investing that carbon revenue into furthering new forest acquisition and conservation. SIG Carbon provided its expertise in forest carbon quantification and methodologies to model and develop the project for the voluntary carbon market. The Inlandsis Fund, which has supported over 40 carbon projects in multiple carbon markets, provided essential capital to fund initial costs of the initiative. Land trusts will be receiving both a prepayment they can use toward additional conservation work and an on-going revenue share as credits are issued and sold.
“The carbon credits generated on these wildlands will directly contribute to the enrolled landowners’ ability to protect thousands of wild acres across New England and New York,” Sophie Ehrhardt, Wild Carbon Specialist at Northeast Wilderness Trust said. “These wildlands not only store immense amounts of carbon, they also offer myriad co-benefits for nature and people. The Northern Forest is the second most carbon-rich ecosystem in North America, and our hope is that carbon finance will provide the incentive for many local land trusts to add their efforts to the growing movement to rewild large parts of the region.”
“SIG Carbon is honored to develop Wildlands Carbon with NEWT, Inlandsis, and northeastern land trusts,” said Erin Alvey, a Research Scientist at SIG Carbon who has been with the project since its inception. “This initiative sets a high bar for credit quality and climate action authenticity. The Forever-Wild conservation easements that permanently protect these forests even beyond the lifetime of the carbon offset project result in unparalleled carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and community benefits.”
“Inlandsis is very pleased to invest in NEWT’s pioneering initiative to expand forest carbon opportunities to landowners that until now could not realistically benefit from carbon markets. It is our second project in a growing partnership with NEWT and also close to our headquarters in Montreal,” said David Moffat, Managing Director at Inlandsis. “Wildlands Carbon is made possible by SIG’s carbon project development expertise. After launching our second fund in December, which is anchored by Fondaction Asset Management and Priori-T Capital, we are looking forward to deploying additional capital into projects throughout North America this year.”
All of the landowners taking part in this new venture are located in the Northeast region of the continental United States, but Wildlands Carbon could be the beginning of a complete shift in the carbon offsets market. Wildlands Carbon is the first forest carbon aggregation project for land trusts in the U.S. exclusively for properties that will be conserved with forever-wild conservation easements.
Land trusts seeking information on enrolling in Wildlands Carbon should contact Sophie Ehrhardt at firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about Northeast Wilderness Trust and rewilding, please visit https://newildernesstrust.org/
For information on forest carbon aggregation or their project development services, please contact email@example.com at SIG Carbon or go to https://www.sigcarbon.com/
Photography: Eagle Ledge at Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve by Jerry Monkman/Ecophotography, Eastern White Pines by Sophi Veltrop