BETHESDA, Md. & GREENVILLE, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund today announced the recipients of its 2017 grants.
Established by Enviva Holdings, LP and administered by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the Fund is awarding $500,000 to three projects that will help conserve more than 8,000 acres of environmentally sensitive bottomland and wetland forests.
The 2017 Enviva Forest Conservation Fund grant recipients are:
- Ducks Unlimited: The Fund is providing $175,000 to assist with the acquisition of more than 6,000 acres in Camden County, North Carolina. The property is designated as wetlands and includes pocosins and Atlantic white cedar stands, which are bottomland forest ecosystems that the Fund has designated as priority conservation targets. Once acquired, this property will be owned by the state and open to the public as a Wildlife Management Area.
- North Carolina Coastal Land Trust: The Fund is providing $200,000 to help acquire 1,000 acres in Bertie County, North Carolina, for creation of a new State Natural Area with public access. The property includes a mature cypress-gum swamp along the Chowan River and Salmon Creek. It also is the site of an archaeological study to determine if this property is where members of the Roanoke Island “lost colonists” may have relocated for a time.
- Virginia Department of Forestry: The Fund is providing $125,000 to support a conservation easement on more than 1,000 acres in Sussex County, Virginia. This project blends working forest uses with permanent protection of bottomland forests including mature cypress/tupelo stands and a natural area set-aside to protect the state rare Savanna Panic Grass (Phanopyrum gymnocarpon).
“Our local conservation partners—Ducks Unlimited, the Virginia Department of Forestry, and the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust—have come through with some sensational projects in this second year of the program,” said Carlton N. Owen, President and CEO of the Endowment. “Not only will their good work lead to more than 8,000 acres of sensitive forestland being protected, but the public will have access to most of this property for compatible recreational uses.”
“Awards from the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund enable our partners to secure matching dollars from other funding sources,” said Brian van Eerden, Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Virginia Southern Rivers Program. “The Nature Conservancy is pleased to see how Enviva’s investments are unlocking new capital and fostering public interest in conserving wetland forests. If sustained, these contributions will help achieve valuable floodplain protection for wildlife in southeast Virginia and northeast North Carolina.”
Local, state and national conservation organizations submitted applications for funding to protect environmentally sensitive forests in 35 counties in the Virginia-North Carolina coastal plain, an area that is home to four wood pellet production facilities and a deep-water marine terminal owned by Enviva. Applications were evaluated by the Endowment based on a number of factors, including the ecological quality of the property, potential threats to the property’s integrity, its associated conservation values and links to other conservation areas. The Fund targets sensitive bottomland and wetland areas which offer a wide range of environmental and economic benefits.
About the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund
The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund is a $5 million, 10-year program established by Enviva Holdings, LP in December 2015 to permanently protect environmentally sensitive bottomland and wetland forests. Administered by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the Fund awards grants annually to nonprofit organizations and government agencies for conservation projects in North Carolina and Virginia.
For more information on the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund visit www.envivaforestfund.org.
About Enviva Holdings, LP
Enviva Holdings, LP is the world’s largest producer of wood pellets, a renewable and sustainable energy source used to generate electricity and heat. Through its subsidiaries, Enviva Holdings, LP owns and operates plants in the southeastern United States that produce nearly 3 million metric tons of wood pellets annually. We export our pellets primarily to power plants in the United Kingdom and Europe that previously were fueled by coal, enabling them to reduce their lifetime carbon footprint by about 80%. We make our pellets using sustainable practices that protect Southern forests. And we employ about 600 people and support many other businesses in the rural South, where jobs and economic opportunity are sometimes scarce.
Enviva Holdings, LP conducts its activities primarily through two entities: Enviva Partners, LP, a publicly-traded master limited partnership (NYSE: EVA), and Enviva Development Holdings, LLC, a wholly-owned private company.
To learn more about Enviva Holdings, LP and its subsidiaries, please visit our website at www.envivabiomass.com.
About The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities
The Endowment is a not-for-profit corporation established in 2006 at the request of the governments of the United States and Canada. The Endowment works collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities.
To learn more about the Endowment, please visit our website at www.usendowment.org.