Family Forest Blog

Family Forest Carbon Program Announces Expansion into Midwest United States

American Forest Foundation

April 12, 2023

041223 MarComm Midwest Release Image

Program Opens for Enrollment in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 12, 2023) – The American Forest Foundation (AFF) today announced the Family Forest Carbon Program, a partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), has expanded enrollment to landowners in select counties in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The Program, which is operational across nine states throughout the United States, is uniquely designed to expand access to carbon markets for family forest owners with as little as 30 acres of land, providing technical and financial support to implement good forest stewardship practices and increase the long-term health and value of their property. 

“Family forest owners deserve to have all possible tools available to them to care for their land,” said Jen Simoni, Director of Landowner Engagement at the American Forest Foundation. “The Family Forest Carbon Program gives agency to these landowners to further improve the health, value, and resiliency of their forests, all while supporting rural economies and building generational wealth through their lands.” 

Midwestern landowners are eligible for enrollment in Baraga, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Marquette, and Ontonagon counties in Michigan; Becker, Cass, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Morrison, and Wadena counties in Minnesota; and Ashland, Iron, and Vilas counties in Wisconsin. The Program plans to expand into several more counties throughout the three states in summer of this year. 

The program provides annual payments to enrolled landowners to implement forest management practices scientifically proven to enhance carbon capture and storage, improve forest health and provide other important ecosystem benefits. The program also provides access to professional foresters that help landowners write a forest management plan tailored to their specific property. These resources provide economic support to rural communities while empowering landowners to meet their personal goals for their woodlands.    

“Our forests provide a wide range of critical benefits for our communities, wildlife, and the planet,” said Matt Dallman, Deputy State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin. “The Family Forest Carbon Program allows owners of smaller-scale forests to access carbon markets and technical assistance to help them sustainably manage their forests in order to balance and maintain all of these benefits.” 

The carbon generated by landowners enrolled in the program is measured and verified by a first-of-its-kind forest carbon accounting methodology that improves accuracy and transparency for the marketplace. By measuring the difference between similar forests, the methodology pinpoints the program as the sole variable that created additional carbon benefit on enrolled landowners’ property. 

Enrollment in the Family Forest Carbon Program in the Midwest is being offered for 20 years for one of two improved management practices. The Growing Mature Forests practice is designed to allow forests to grow older and larger trees than average forests in the local area, promoting long-term forest health and increased commercial value of the trees, all while allowing landowners to maintain a working forest. The Promoting Diverse Forests practice increases the number and diversity of living trees left uncut during coppice or clearcut harvests, allowing landowners to balance the financial and ecological benefits of harvesting, while enhancing wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and resiliency. 

For more information about the Family Forest Carbon Program, please visit  


About The American Forest Foundation 

The American Forest Foundation (AFF) harnesses the power of family forests to fight climate change. Our Family Forest Carbon Program provides the tools for small landowners to improve the health and climate potential of their forests. To learn more about AFF’s commitment to fighting climate change, visit    

About The Nature Conservancy 

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_org on Twitter.

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