Carbon Credits

Seeing is Believing at Empire Riverlands

Published on October 5, 2023
Words by —
Lizzie Aldrich, M.S., Ph.D.

On a crisp fall day on the heels of Climate Week in New York City, Anew and Bluesource Sustainable Forests Company (BSFC) ventured into the woods with nine offset market participants. Credit buyers from multiple industries, including energy, technology, and private equity, set aside a full day to learn more about Improved Forest Management projects under the American Carbon Registry. Over the course of the visit, the group stopped at several sites on the soon-to-issue Empire Riverlands project in Upstate New York. Presenters included myself and Cakey Worthington, VP of Carbon Operations for BSFC.

To start the day, participants learned about Anew’s history and the formation of BSFC through our partnership with Oak Hill Advisors. With BSFC’s 2022 acquisition of 1.7 million acres to manage in a way that prioritizes carbon storage over timber revenue, BSFC and Anew are massively scaling their beneficial impact, and as the seventh largest private forest landowner in the U.S., tackling the climate challenge head-on.

Following introductions, we bushwacked through the woods to a permanent inventory site location where participants learned how forest inventory crews quantify the carbon in the trees with tools that measure the height and diameter of trees in a radius. The group then observed the markings of a quality control crew and separate verification body that checks the inventory crews’ work. We discussed how remote sensing and on-the-ground LiDAR deployed from backpacks and drones complement these by-hand calculations and species identification. With 250 inventory sites on Empire Riverlands alone, these plots provide an accurate representation of the full project area.

Next, we ventured to a 9-acre beaver pond – newly constructed since my visit to the property just two months ago and a perfect example of the expression, “busy as a beaver.” Presenters covered how the forest provides co-benefits for the ecosystem and how carbon revenues allow for stewardship of the land, which includes the occasional re-location of beavers to prevent downstream flooding and road damage.

Finally, we observed a site where logging had occurred in the past and compared it to a site where limited selective logging will occur in the future. Under the latter management practice, the health of the forest is vastly enhanced, and comparing the two helps illustrate a clear “before” and “after” scenario for the carbon project.

Empire Riverlands_Site Visit 1


Feedback from participants was encouraging:

“The tour 10x'd my knowledge of forest carbon removal and avoidance techniques. These are sophisticated projects led by tier 1 professionals who demonstrated vast scholarly, field and commercial expertise.” 
- CEO of a Carbon Technology Company

“The experience was wonderful and I have now come away with great appreciation for the work done behind-the-scenes by Anew and its forest stewards. While the amount of technical information can be overwhelming at times, the Anew professional team was able to distill it to layman terms.”  
- A Top 3 Canadian Food Company

“The visit to the Anew project sites was instrumental in helping me understand the real and comprehensive benefits of purchasing IFM carbon offsets. It was a lot more multifaceted than anyone can imagine by reading a 2D project overview, and the dialogue deeply enriched the experience.”  
- Top 10 U.S. Healthcare Company

“Visiting Empire Riverlands with the Anew team helped to re-enforce why the market sees their credits as the highest quality. There is no question that the project is additional and provides extensive benefit to the areas’ residents and wildlife.”   
- A Top 10 Canadian Fuel Company

“I had the incredible opportunity to visit the Empire Riverlands Offset Project site which is listed on the American Carbon Registry under the Improved Forest Management Protocol (v2.0). Witnessing the project site in person and seeing the meticulous care given to these forests, the resources invested in continuous measurements and monitoring, was eye-opening. I was truly inspired by the commitment and dedication of the project team in preserving and enhancing these forests, which are not only vital for biodiversity but also serve as a powerful carbon sink. The visit reinforced my belief in the importance of supporting such projects for a more sustainable future.”  
–  A Top Energy Company

Anew has been offering buyers on-site educational opportunities on its managed forest properties for five years, with more visits offered each year in response to growing demand. This was the third site visit of 2023, and several are already planned for 2024 when the snow melts. Are you interested in joining us in the future? Contact our sales team at to learn more.

Empire Riverlands_Site Visit 2


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