In 2020, RFFI is creating a strategic plan to map out the future of RFFI and the Usal Redwood Forest. RFFI purchased Usal in 2007 knowing that it was severely cut-over land needing rehabilitation. Now, our forestry team is completing the data gathering necessary to assess the forest’s future.
We hired BBW & Associates to create a forty-year harvest and financial forecast, which revealed
that, under the current management policies (i.e., retention of larger trees, increasing stand volumes and prohibiting herbicide use), only one-third of Usal could be currently managed effectively. The other two-thirds of the property is more heavily stocked with hardwoods and, as a result, cannot be managed profitably using the selection-cut silviculture we presently employ.
These conclusions are contrary to what we have been told in the past — that we had a young forest and it is just a matter of time until we would be harvesting millions of board feet of timber per year — something we suspected was untrue. While the forest recovers, carbon offset sales, an alternative revenue stream derived from our forest’s ability to sequester carbon, contribute to our organizational profitability.
This all may seem insurmountable, but it represents the challenge facing many thousands of acres of California timberlands due to past management practices. It is incumbent upon current landowners to move forestlands to greater future productivity if we are to maintain our timber industry for future generations.
RFFI can and should lead the way in demonstrating regenerative forestry and addressing climate change. To provide this leadership, we need your support. Join me in contributing to a healthier, more productive forest. benefiting local communities and California as a whole.