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2012 FLM Nov / Dec Page 20 [Free Version] Economy 2
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T he Mississippi River is a critical body of water  in North America for commerce, climate and energy. It is the largest river in the United States, and the third longest in the world. It drains the water of 33 states and two Canadian provinces — approximately 41% of the United States. Each year over 505 million tons of product valued between $80- $114 billion travel down the river.

Conversion from forestland to agricultural land in the MAV accelerated with the arrival of mechanized agriculture following World War II and dramatically affected the ecosystem. The conversion from forests to agriculture resulted in a decline in the quality of the water and wildlife in the watershed due to the loss of its natural flood control buffer. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, for every 100,000 acres of farmland restored to its natural bottomland forest, the release of 1,550,000 pounds per year (23,250,000 pounds over 15 years) of nitrogen and phosphorous into the Mississippi River would be avoided. EPA estimates that at least 12 tons of soil wash into the Gulf from every acre of cropland in the MAV.

For many years, our economy has not rewarded natural assets even though some of the earth’s resources, such as

 

 THE NEXUS OF VALUE

clean water, shrink due to steadily increasing levels of human consumption.

But now, things are changing in the Mississippi Delta through some innovative silvicultural techniques. These innovative solutions are provided by GreenTrees®, A privately managed forest restoration and carbon sequestration program created for landowners in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley.

GreenTrees was created and is managed by C2I, LLC of Virginia. GreenTrees’ goal is to provide landowners the highest combination of financial and conservation values possible from bottomland hardwood restoration. Landowner enrollment in GreenTrees creates regional scale to produce multiple conservation, wildlife, and ecosystem benefits by using a specific (and heavily researched) inter-planting of 302 cottonwood trees with 302 mixed hardwood trees per acre. This silvicultural method directly addresses the growing demands for verifiable forestry carbon offsets and renewable biomass feedstock supplies.

GreenTrees pays landowners to interplant a grid of fast growing cottonwoods and sheltered quality hardwoods on former farmland, creating 10-foot cottonwoods and 4-foot hardwoods within a year of planting. Landowners can also enroll newly planted acreage in the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Participating landowners now have the potential to sit back and watch their forest grow while revenues increase.

Advantages for participating landowners and society in general include:

• Expedited tree growth

• Accelerated carbon sequestration

• Maximized use of the reforestation site (more trees per acre)

 

20         www.forestlandowners.com               

 

   
2013 Volume 72:


May/ June 2013

  
March/April 2013
 
Jan/Feb 2013
2012 Volume 71:

  
Nov/Dec 2012

  
Sept/Oct 2012

  
July/Aug 2012
 
May/June 2012
  
March/Apr 2012
2012 Volume 70:
 
Jan/Feb 2012
    

 

 

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