WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 29, 2023) - Rita Hite, President and CEO of the American Forest Foundation, issued the following statement in response to the introduction of the Rural Forest Markets Act (RFMA) in the House by Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and William Timmons (R-SC):
“The Rural Forest Markets Act is a bipartisan effort that unlocks the door to new revenue streams for rural landowners to keep their land in the family and ensure the long-term health and value of their forests are protected. The House must pass this bill to protect rural communities and America’s forests.”
Family forest owners constitute 39% of all U.S. forests – the largest portion of America’s woodlands, surpassing the federal government. The funding the RFMA opens enables landowners to activate the conservation potential of the 290 million acres of family-owned forestland, improving the biodiversity and value of America’s woodlands.
If passed, the RFMA would enable the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue guarantees for loans and bonds that help create carbon markets for small landowners; incentivize family landowners to adopt climate-friendly forest practices that increase the value of market commodities like carbon, water, and timber; and allow the U.S. to achieve the necessary scale of climate impact by bringing the power of private finance from large corporations to America.
Media Contact: Katie Taylor, Communications Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
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 around carbon sequestration, wildfire reduction, wildlife habitat, clean water, sustainable wood supplies and support for rural communities. To learn more about the Family Forest Carbon Program, visit www.familyforestcarbon.org.
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