Family Forest Blog

FY23 Omnibus Bill Removes Barriers to Climate Action for Rural Landowners

American Forest Foundation

December 23, 2022

Sunlight glistening through trees onto a field.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 23, 2022) – Today Congress passed the fiscal year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill that included critical funding for family forests and two key climate provisions: Acceptance and Use of Private Funds for Public/Private Partnerships, and the Greenhouse Gas Technical Assistance Provider and Third-Party verifier Program. Rita Hite, president and CEO of the American Forest Foundation, released the below statement on the bill’s passage:

“Family forests play a vital role in the fight against climate change. But systemic barriers to leveraging these woodlands as sustainable nature-based solutions prevent rural landowners from unlocking their full climate potential. The inclusion of these two provisions in the FY2023 Omnibus bill signifies the federal government’s crucial commitment to supporting rural landowners through expanding access to carbon markets and financing climate action.

We urge Congress to continue building on these critical steps in the next Farm Bill by enacting additional innovative financing tools like the Rural Forest Markets Act. This low-cost legislation will further unlock private financing for rural forest owners to capture, store and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change.”

The Greenhouse Gas Technical Assistance Provider and Third-Party Verifier Program, formerly the Growing Climate Solutions Act, creates a registration program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help solve technical entry barriers that prevent farmers and forest landowners from participating in carbon credit markets. Acceptance and Use of Private Funds for Public/Private Partnerships, formerly the SUSTAINS Act, allows for the Secretary of Agriculture, through the Natural Resources Conservation Service, to accept and partially match contributions from third-party stakeholders using federal funds. This provision creates a pathway for leveraging private investments with public funding to support innovative conservation and climate mitigation projects. Both provisions are critical steps to establishing transparent, credible, and viable markets through public-private co-investments that empower rural forest owners to care for their forests and fight climate change.

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About The American Forest Foundation
The American Forest Foundation is a national conservation organization that works with a broad coalition of partners to empower family forest owners to make a meaningful conservation impact. To learn more about the American Forest Foundation and the Family Forest Carbon Program, go to www.forestfoundation.org/carbon.

CONTACT: Kristen Voorhees, Communications Director, media@forestfoundation.org 

American Forest Foundation

December 23, 2022

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