The American Forest Foundation (AFF) and Enviva Holdings, LP recently announced a multi-year partnership to help private forest landowners across the Florida panhandle certify their forests are sustainably managed, and restore longleaf pine forests and improve wildlife habitat. AFF is a leading forest conservation organization specializing in helping to keep family owned forests productive for wildlife and clean water, as well as for wood supply. Enviva is the world’s largest manufacturer of industrial wood pellets.
The partnership, which will also include The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and other partners, will focus its efforts across 16 counties in the Florida panhandle, with a special focus on the area surrounding Cottondale, FL.
“We are proud to partner with AFF, TNC, and others to help private forest owners certify their forests as sustainably managed and to restore longleaf pine forests,” said Jennifer Jenkins, Enviva’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “We have already helped small private forest owners certify more than 22,000 acres under the American Tree Farm System (ATFS). We are excited to help increase Tree Farm certification and longleaf restoration on private lands in Florida.”
The project will begin with a 38-acre demonstration site, created on The Nature Conservancy’s Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve, where landowners can learn more about the longleaf ecosystem and the practices needed to sustain it. In the surrounding area, landowners will be encouraged to create or improve longleaf pine forests, support forest biodiversity, and become certified in the American Tree Farm System. ATFS is an internationally recognized sustainable forestry certification program specifically designed for family and small forest owners, which is administered by AFF.
“The Conservancy is pleased to demonstrate the lessons we’ve learned in nearly 30 years of longleaf habitat restoration. Private landowners will be an important part of bringing this imperiled forest back to prominence and that starts with technical assistance,” said Brian Pelc, Restoration Project Manager at The Nature Conservancy.