Those are significant milestones!
RFFI spent this past year developing a deep understanding of the conditions of the Usal Forest, conditions created by past aggressive profit-taking at the expense of forest health. We purchased the property with the help of Bank of America—we are grateful they helped us make it happen—and now we are well along on the road to repaying that debt, actually making payments ahead of schedule.
In the meantime, RFFI is doing light-touch forestry and a significant amount of habitat and watershed restoration. Grants and income from carbon credit sales allow us to do that while paying down our debt. We have also been involving our community in citizen science projects, such as tracking sudden oak death, and planting redwood seedlings through our Plant A Redwood.
There is still work to do:
- The RFFI Board is defining the future of our forest, defining what restoration forestry looks like on Usal
- We would like to restructure the balance of our debt, aligning our debt payments with the capacity of the forest to pay it off in a timely manner
Reist Ranch old homestead. RFFI is raising funds to purchase this redwood forest land. More info
- Close our first purchase of additional property, called Reist Ranch, which is a 95-acre forest within the borders of Usal, that will also be covered with a conservation easement. We are beginning to imagine how its historic buildings might be repurposed
- Continuing to expand residents’ engagement in governance and forest management discussions
- Completing our long-range strategic plan
I am as committed and as enthusiastic as I was when I first got involved in 2000. I want to thank all of you who came before me and now walk with me in this bold and courageous endeavor. I hope you can see the possibilities and share our dream. DONATE NOW to support the effort and get involved, be part of the RFFI story of success.