California Redwoods

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Big River Salmon Creek Forest Project


Climate Action ReserveLOCATION: Northern California
PROJECT DEVELOPER: The Conservation Fund
OFFSET STANDARD: Climate Action Reserve
PROJECT TYPE: Improved Forest Management


The Conservation Fund’s acquisition of 16,000 acres of redwood and Douglas firs surrounding Big River and Salmon Creek ensures that these forests will be protected permanently from fragmentation, development and conversion to non-forest uses.

Across both forests, the Conservation Fund has implemented sustainable forest management practices that include decreasing the intensity of harvests, increasing the time between harvests and widening riverfront buffers to improve water quality in streams impaired by erosion resulting from a century of timber harvesting. These practices are resulting in the improvement of water quality and habitat for coho salmon, steelhead trout and spotted owl.

Although Northern California’s coastal forests have long supported abundant wildlife and a thriving economy—nearly 40 percent of the value of all timber harvested in California comes from privately owned forests in Humboldt and Mendocino counties—many of California’s forest-based communities are at a crossroads.

The large commercial timber companies have been divesting their forestlands. Some of that land has been fragmented into small holdings for single-family homes or weekend getaways. Most acreage has been sold to timber investment or real estate investment companies, whose harvest practices are often geared toward short-term profit as opposed to the long-term sustainable management typically employed by commercial forest products companies.

Because of the number of large properties on the market and the competition from the private sector, conservationists are struggling to finance forestland acquisitions to protect the most sensitive natural areas, such as those within Big River and Salmon Creek.

Carbon Offsets generated from the project are verified to the Climate Action Reserve standard in addition to being Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Certified. Funds received from the sale of Carbon Offsets provide an important funding source in this innovative project model.