Boston timberland investment firm celebrates planting of 1bn trees

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A timberland investment management organisation based in Boston has confirmed that it has planted an average of 32 million trees per year since 1985.

The Hancock Timber Resource Group (HNRG) has planted more than two trees to replace every tree that it has harvested since 1985 and has now reached the planting of its billionth tree.

Speaking at a recent event held in California’s McCloud Forest, Bill Peressini, HNRG’s chief executive officer, said: “It is an honor to be leading our organization as we recognize this achievement, but what we truly celebrate today are the hundreds of Hancock Timber and Hancock Forest Management employees who have managed our forests since 1985.

“Their hard work and commitment every day make our long held belief that ‘good stewardship is good business’ a reality. “We also greatly appreciate our partnerships with conservation organizations. We look forward to working together to conserve working forests, which in turn will address critical issues including land use, water quality and climate change.”

Brent Keefer, president of the organisation, reaffirmed the importance of sustainability in the forestry and timber sector, saying: “Sustainability is a core value of our organization. We plant roughly two trees for every tree we harvest, an average of more than two and a half million a month for the last 30 years. Even before we harvest, we have plans in place to replant. Most of us won’t be around to see those seedlings grow to maturity, but future generations will benefit from these forests.”

The billion trees have been planted across sustainably managed properties located in the US, Canada, South America, New Zealand and Australia and are expected to one day provide enough wood to construct more than two million homes. They will also store more than 730 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over their lifetime.

“Working forests are part of the essential green infrastructure of this country. They provide us with clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, habitat for wildlife, recreational opportunities and support more than 2 million jobs. In addition, they are a critical part of our nation’s efforts to address climate change,” said Larry Selzer, president and chief executive officer of The Conservation Fund, which has been working with the HNRG.

The organisation has also been working on the Sensitive Lands Programme, which sees partnerships created with several public agencies and private green groups to protect and conserve over 440,000 acres of land that have key environmental, recreation, scenic or historic value, on a permanent basis.

“The programme benefits our clients because they receive fair market value for their property, and the public benefits because vital natural resources are protected,” Mr. Keefer said. One example of this is the McCloud Dogwood Butte Working Forest Conservation Easement, a link-up which boosted the network of privately owned working forests protected by Pacific Forest Trust across the McCloud area to more than 30,000 acres.

“Any moves which boost the number of new trees being planted across the globe is surely a good thing for the sustainable forestry industry,” said GWD Forestry‘s spokesman, James Barrett. “Planting one billion new seedlings is undoubtedly a milestone to be celebrated.”

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