Most people understand that the widespread use of fossil fuels contributes to the presence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. What a lot of people don’t realize is that we are also surrounded by millions of highly efficient, natural “machines” that work to counterbalance this effect… trees!


Photo courtesy of The Conservation Fund

The Conservation Fund’s Go Zero® program capitalizes on the power of nature to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by planting trees and protecting forests across the United States. The program helps its donors calculate their estimated CO2 emissions and then ensures the planting of trees to trap or “sequester” those emissions over the lifetime of a forest. As a leader in the forest carbon market, The Conservation Fund has used carbon financing to protect 74,000 acres of working forestland on the north coast of California alone.

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative and The Conservation Fund share a core belief that environmental protection and economic vitality fundamentally reinforce one another. Together, these two organizations strive to ensure that forests can maintain their vital role in providing clean air, water and wildlife habitat, while providing the values and benefits that all of us depend upon.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of SFI, our 2015 Annual Conference was recently held in California’s Olympic Valley near Lake Tahoe. Thanks to the generous sponsorship from Resolute Forest Products, a Sustainable Forestry Initiative Program Participant, the 2015 Sustainable Forestry Initiative annual conference became a carbon-neutral event by helping fund tree planting and conservation through the Go Zero program. Go Zero was a great fit for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative annual conference because we support the Fund’s mission to prevent the loss of America’s last large and intact privately-held forests. Go Zero offset the CO2 emissions resulting from attendee travel, hotel stays, and all of the major conference sessions. These efforts will reduce the impact on the climate and help build awareness about the importance of good forest stewardship.

The Conservation Fund broke new ground when it acquired 24,000 acres of redwood and Douglas fir in 2004, called the Garcia River Forest. Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s carbon offset donation will benefit future projects in the Garcia River Forest, in part, by keeping the lands working sustainably for people and wildlife in California.


Sustainable forest management of the 23,780-acre Garcia River Forest enables the storage of more than 77,000 tons of carbon emissions annually. Photo by Matthew Gerhart.

With The Nature Conservancy holding a conservation easement on the property, the project became one of the first and largest projects to meet the qualifications of the Climate Action Reserve, with the purpose of sequestering carbon to counteract the effects of climate change. The Fund also implemented sustainable forestry practices to restore water quality and protect habitat for species like coho salmon, steelhead trout and spotted owl. These lands are certified to multiple forestry standards, including the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management. While we develop and oversee standards for forest management and the forest products supply chain, we are more than a set of standards—we are a community that stands for future forests. Sustainable Forestry Initiative works at the intersection of thriving forests, sustainable communities and responsible procurement, and the Go Zero partnership is a shining illustration of how members of our community can help change the world, naturally.

About The Conservation Fund: at the Fund, we make conservation work for  America.  By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity.  Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states to protect more than 7.5 million acres of land since 1985. Find out more about the Go Zero® program.


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