Winter Timber Sale

New legislation introduced to fund carbon credit landowner programs

The legislation would create the Rural Forest Market Investment Program

Madison, Wis. -- Two U.S. Senators from the Midwest have introduced legislation to provide federal financing for initiatives to expand carbon credit payment programs to small landowners.

The Rural Forest Markets Act was introduced by U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Mike Braun (R-IN), both members of the Senate’s Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.

"For too long, environmental market opportunities have been out of reach for many family foresters due to high upfront costs. Our bipartisan bill is a win-win for forest owners and the environment," Stabenow said.

The legislation, if passed, will create the Rural Forest Market Investment Program, which provides for federal loan guarantees of up to $150 million for non-profit organizations and companies that help small forestry businesses sell carbon credits. The legislation would create new revenue streams for small forest owners.

Carbon credits are available for forestland because of its capacity to sequester large amounts of carbon.

The legislation would provide a strong boost to model programs that are being tried by The American Forest Foundation and American Forests each partnered with The Nature Conservancy that will allow owners of parcels from 20 to 500 acres to sell carbon credits.

Those organizations were among a group of 28, also including the Society of American Foresters, to applaud the proposed legislation.

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