[MPWG] ARTICLE: To Protect a Critical Forest in Appalachia, a Foundation Goes Beyond Grantmaking
De Angelis, Patricia
patricia_deangelis at fws.gov
Sat Aug 17 02:27:09 CDT 2019
Appalachia is home to many medicinal plants...
To Protect a Critical Forest in Appalachia, a Foundation Goes Beyond
By Julia Travers
While the coal industry continues to decline, the communities and lands of
Appalachia are in transition. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and its funders
are playing a significant role in reimagining coal country. In the spring
and summer of 2019, TNC acquired 253,000 acres of land in Kentucky,
Tennessee and Virginia, which it will place under sustainable forestry
management as the Cumberland Forest Project. A $20 million loan in the form
a program-related investment (PRI) from the Doris Duke Charitable
Foundation (DDCF) played a big role in this land purchase. TNC designed the
Cumberland Forest Project as an impact investment fund, and the
concessionary capital of DDCF’s PRI drew investors to the fund, which now
totals $130 million.
Sustainable forestry is a unique type of forest management—in this case,
certified by the international Forest Stewardship Council (FSC
<https://fsc.org/en>), which combines “reduced-impact” logging with
conservation efforts and various community partnerships. It’s an outlook
that takes both the ecological and economic values of forests into account,
and its forest management practices concern some conservationists.
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