What You Can Do : ForeverRedwood.Com

Restoration forestry exists worldwide; unfortunately, it is small compared to industry and government practices. If you share the old-growth again vision, here are four possible avenues for your interest:
First, if you own forestland, attach a “restoration forestry” conservation easement. This way, you retain ownership and use while restoring and protecting the land in perpetuity. Conservation easements are tailored to the property owner’s wishes. They outline how the forest can be used. They legally protect the land’s biological diversity by allowing the forest’s beauty and majesty to increase decade by decade. Placing a conservation easement on forestland often results in a federal income tax deduction, estate tax relief and/or annual property tax relief. The easement also insures that the recreational value of the property grows as the forest matures into an older ecosystem. And, in time, you and your children will be financially rewarded when the restored forest begins to yield sustainably harvested timber. If the land is in Sonoma or Mendocino Counties, OGA can be contracted to help coordinate the easement process and/or to manage the long-term forest restoration. For more information, call us at 866-332-2403 or email us at info@oldgrowthagain.org. Appendix A explains the conservation easement and includes a complete copy of a conservation easement agreement.
Second, learn how and do it yourself. Our internship program accepts a handful of responsible individuals every year. The goal is to train others to do “hands-on” restoration forestry elsewhere. Tuition is free – room and board is traded for 80 hours of field work/study spread out over a calendar year. (See internship program, page 13).
Third, become a neighbor. Forestland in the area is usually available. Almost all parcels have been logged and are ripe for restoration. Tax breaks are available for investing in forest restoration. Zoning usually allows for two residences per parcel. Parcel size ranges from 2 acres up to 640 acres. Roads are usually gravel and electricity is only available in some areas. For electricity, many residents use a combination of solar power, generators and batteries. Conventional phone service is often available. Cellular phones often work well. Water is plentiful via springs, wells, rain collection or from streams. Property taxes in California are generally fixed at 1% of the property’s purchase price. Property taxes increase only when new structures are built via the county’s building permit process. Property taxes are often decreased when conservation easements are attached to the deed. OGA maintains a list of available properties.
Fourth, own part of an OGA Project. If direct ownership is complicated or liability issues are a concern, co-ownership is another option. For example, you can own shares in a corporation that holds title to the land. This limits liability and eliminates land management duties. Some OGA managed land is co-owned in corporations or in trusts, while other parcels are owned by two or three individuals in partnerships.
OGA has grown through hard work and relationships with like-minded friends. The most difficult work is the gradual reduction of the hardwood volume and the slash cutting, soil preparation and planting to help the conifers become dominant again. The hardwoods are cut and removed and most is sold for firewood. Firewood is a difficult business to make a profit, but it lowers restoration costs and thereby contributes to the bottom line. OGA’s investor partners have invested over $5,000,000 to date. If you would like to be a partner in this vision, please contact us. Tax breaks are available for restoration forestry investments. Besides doing your part to restore forestland, when you add the tax benefits, and land value appreciation, forest restoration is a handsome financial investment long-term.

No comments:

Post a Comment