Federal Legislation Aims to Keep Working Forests as Forests

Matt Leahy | September 24, 2020
Trees stand in a forest conservation easement.

Forest Society conservation easement on private land in Peterborough.

The Forest Incentives Program Act proposes to provide incentives for private forest owners to help them maintain their properties as forestland. 

The benefits forests provide to the economy, through the pest products industry, and to the environment, by helping to clean our water, have long been known. What has become just as well understood is their ability to sequester and store carbon making them a major component of any strategy to address climate change.

Senator Shaheen first introduced this bill in 2015. Since that time, the urgency to act against the effects of climate change has increased making the bill’s reintroduction especially timely. If enacted, the Forest Incentives Program Act will be one important tool forest landowners can use to sustainably manage their lands. 

“The reintroduction of the Forest Incentives Program Act is great news," said Forest Society President Jack Savage. "We know that forests can play a major role in addressing climate change. Of course, they also provide other important environmental and economic benefits.

"The challenge has been to make sure that private forestland owners, who own almost 75% of the forested areas in New Hampshire, can continue to hold onto their woodlots. Avoiding the permanent conversion of forests into other uses is essential if we want to maintain these benefits. This legislation will offer the support these landowners need to accomplish that goal. On behalf of the Forest Society, I want to thank Senator Shaheen for emphasizing why we must keep forests as forests."

Please thank Senator Shaheen for her efforts to support forest owners’ ability to enhance the climate benefits of their forests.