Is the Family Forest Carbon Program Right For You? Part 4: You Want to Make Sure You're Getting a Good Deal
This blog post is part of a five-part series called, “Is the Family Forest Carbon Program Right for You?” Here is the key takeaway you will find in this post:
The Family Forest Carbon Program provides you with resources and incentives to help you maximize the long-term financial value of your forest.
First, we want to acknowledge that financial considerations are probably not the number one motivating factor for you when you think about your goals for your forest. However, they are also not unimportant. If you’re like most landowners, you want to know that whatever you implement is going to be financially possible for you and your family, and you want to know that you’re not making an outright poor financial decision.
Because forest carbon programs are so new, it is useful to think about what this financial transaction most resembles, as a way of helping “translate” the concepts.
Just as your employer might provide a “matching” contribution to encourage you to do what you should do anyway, and make it easier, FFCP provides incentives to encourage you to stick to longer-term management.
Think of this program like a 401(k)
The financial tool that the Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP) most resembles is an employer-sponsored 401(k) or pension plan. Just like you should be saving money for retirement regardless of whether there is a 401(k) or pension plan available to you, from a financial standpoint you should be managing your forests the way FFCP foresters will recommend, regardless of whether you participate in a carbon program. Why? Our management practices will consistently produce the highest long-term value.
But, just as it’s hard to save money for retirement because we have financial needs today, it can also be challenging to implement long-term forest management practices when we have other needs that a heavy timber harvest might fulfill. So, just as your employer might provide a “matching” contribution to encourage you to do what you should do anyway, and make it easier, FFCP provides incentives to encourage you to stick to longer-term management, even though such management would be in your self-interest anyway.
And just like a 401(k) is a fantastic and powerful way to save for retirement, the Family Forest Carbon Program is a great way to increase the value of your woodland in the long-term.
But, just as a 401(k) is not a fit for everyone, so too FFCP is not going to meet all landowners’ objectives. If you are interested in maximizing the cash from your forest in the short or medium-term, or if you don’t want to restrict your ability to liquidate the value in your forest at any time, FFCP is simply not the program for you (and that’s OK!)
On the other hand, if you’re interested in a long-term partnership to grow the financial value of your property, while also achieving other objectives (like improved wildlife habitat, water quality and climate resiliency), then we look forward to discussing the program more with you!
The Family Forest Carbon Program is now enrolling landowners with 30 acres or more in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Vermont, as well as select counties in Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Wisconsin. Click here to check your eligibility today.
More from this series...
To continue learning about our program and whether it fits your needs, jump to another post in this series:
March 28, 2023
Is the Family Forest Carbon Program Right For You? Part 2: You Need Forestry Guidance or Financial Assistance
One of the most common things we hear from landowners is that they want to do right by their land, and just need a bit of guidance to ensure they are making the right choices. In this post we look at the ways the Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP) provides you with technical assistance and management flexibility to reach your unique goals for your land.
March 28, 2023
Is the Family Forest Carbon Program Right For You? Part 3: You’re Concerned About Greenwashing and Corporate Polluting
Simply put, "greenwashing" is the act of marketing something as being more environmentally friendly than it is. Even if the term itself is new to you, the idea has likely already crossed your mind while considering this or other carbon programs. In this post we look at what we are doing to mitigate greenwashing, and how we ensure we're producing credits that meet the highest standards of integrity.
March 29, 2023
Is the Family Forest Carbon Program Right For You? Part 5: You Care What Happens to Your Land When You're Gone
What happens to my contract if I sell the property? What if the property passes on to my heirs in the event of my death? These are very valid questions. Data on land tenure indicates that most properties that enroll in The Family Forest Carbon Program will be owned by someone else by the end of the 20-year enrollment period, so we have intentionally designed the program to benefit the current owner, as well as the next. In this post we look at how the program can support future owners of your land.