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More forest land bought up for safe keeping with the Cumberland Forest Project

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The non-profit organisation the Nature Conservancy announced on Monday that  it has partnered up with private investors to acquire 101,000 hectares of forest land. 

This forest land lies in the coalfields of Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia.

The Cumberland Forest Project will do several things:

  • Protect the land
  • Make money through sustainable forestry, recreational leases and the eventual sale of the properties.
  • Help offset carbon
  • Benefit wildlife
  • Help water quality

The forest lands cover 100,000 acres in Kentucky & Tennessee.   Some 153,000 acres are in south-west Virginia.  As such, this project’s land is one of the largest conservation efforts the group has taken up in the east of the US. Theland was bought from timber investment management companies for $130,000.

The Cumberland Forest Project won’t own the mineral rights of the land.  This means mining could still take place – but the Nature Conservancy says just a small percentage of the land would be subject to mining and the group would have  a say in the process.

The area includes the central Appalachians which are especially important to preserve biodiversity and help wildlife adapt to climate change. 

The Nature Conservancy hopes that this model can be done in other areas, so that long term, a super highway of protected land could be created along the mountain range. 

It means conservation can happen on a scale which can’t be achieved through philanthropy on its own.

Conservation needs all the help it can get and it also needs new ways of working so it will be interesting to what this model can achieve. 

Visit the Nature Conservancy here to see how you can help


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