Natural Climate Solutions NEWS
Carbon Finance Partnership to Create Largest Non-Governmental Wilderness Area in the State of Vermont
Montreal, CAN | February 10, 2022
The following information was first published by Bluesource on February 10, 2022 prior to the launch of Anew.
Montreal, CAN: The Inlandsis Fund, based in Quebec, and Bluesource, LLC (Bluesource), based in Utah, and the Northeast Wilderness Trust (NEWT), based in Vermont, have entered into a long-term agreement to develop the Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve forest carbon project in Vermont.
Carbon finance enables permanent conservation of 5,900 acres of Vermont forestland
The investment by Inlandsis Fund contributed to the purchase of the property from the previous owner, the E.B. Hyde timber company based in Vermont. The Inlandsis investment combined with the revenues from carbon offsets and other funds raised by NEWT from over 130 individual donors will also support stewardship, a conservation easement and continued monitoring of the land. The Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve is now Vermont’s largest non-governmental wilderness area and likewise, this is the largest carbon offset project on wildlands in the state. The Preserve includes stunning northern hardwood forests, a diversity of wetlands, and 39 miles of headwater streams to two major rivers.
The project will be listed with the American Carbon Registry and will generate Wild CarbonTM offset credits. Wild CarbonTM is a program of Northeast Wilderness Trust which generates and markets carbon credits derived only on recently protected wildlands that are permanently conserved with a legally binding Forever-Wild Conservation Easement. The 5,900-acre landscape will be protected in perpetuity, with a forever-wild conservation easement held by Vermont River Conservancy.
Protecting an important carbon sink while also generating significant ecological co-benefits
Less than 1 percent of the Northeast’s original forests remain standing. Old, wild forests support a higher richness of species, from songbirds to salamanders and fungi to mosses. They are often safe havens for threatened and endangered species and for wildlife sensitive to human disturbance. Older, unmanaged forests contain massive carbon stocks stored in soils and above-ground wood that increase every year. If logged or otherwise lost, that carbon is irrecoverable over the next century. Northeast Wilderness Trust’s passive management regime will offer the land the freedom to grow old and one day join the ranks of the region’s precious and rare old growth forests—often referred to as rewilding.
The Inlandsis Fund Managing Director Jamie Callendar said, “Inlandsis is very pleased to support NEWT and Bluesource in preserving the Woodbury Wilderness Preserve, located only three hours from our headquarters in Montreal. Since 2017, our fund has contributed financing to over thirty greenhouse gas emission reduction projects across North America in multiple sectors and we aim to deploy additional capital into similar projects in the coming months. We are proud to partner with two leaders in sustainable forest carbon conservation in Bluesource and NEWT to protect this wilderness to generate incremental carbon removals and substantial ecological co-benefits.”
Jon Leibowitz, Executive Director of the Northeast Wilderness Trust, stated, “Permanent conservation of large landscapes like Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve will help meet the State of Vermont’s goal to have at least 9% of Vermont’s forested landscape be comprised of old forests, and by partnering with Vermont River Conservancy to hold a forever-wild easement on the land, we will ensure it will remain wild forever.” Leibowitz added, “Carbon markets have emerged as an essential revenue source for landscape-scale conservation and when credits are generated through our Wild CarbonTM program, the public is ensured that every dollar was derived from forests that will never be logged again. It’s a win for wildlife, the public, and the atmosphere.”
Aaron Paul, Vice President at Bluesource, praised the collaborative efforts of all three parties in developing the forest carbon project. “We are honored to be involved in this partnership to protect this critical Northeast wilderness. To provide more forests with the opportunity to mature into old-growth, while sequestering critical amounts of carbon, is a true privilege and it is why we do this work. We are thrilled to add the Woodbury Mountain Wilderness to our network of conserved forestland under carbon management across North America.”
The Inlandsis Fund was established in 2017 and is supported by Fondaction, a $3.34 billion dollar labour-sponsored fund and Priori-T Capital, both based in Montreal (Quebec), with a shared commitment to harness markets to address climate change. Inlandsis is the only Canadian fund, and one of a handful globally, that exclusively finances carbon emission reductions. It offers a unique project finance solution that provides upfront capital in return for carbon credits – a critical innovation for making many carbon reduction projects a reality. The Fund is also active in clean fuels markets, including focusing on California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program. Its growing portfolio includes over 30 projects across the linked California & Quebec carbon market, the California LCFS program, and the Alberta carbon market.
About New England Wilderness Trust
At Northeast Wilderness Trust we believe that wild nature deserves the freedom to flourish. On forever-wild lands people practice restraint and natural processes unfold freely. The 57,800+ acres of wildlands safeguarded by Northeast Wilderness Trust are places where all species—human and otherwise—can thrive and evolve.
In February of 2022, Bluesource and Element Markets announced a merger to form a combined entity under majority ownership by TPG Rise, a global impact investing platform managed by alternative asset firm TPG. The combination brings together Element Markets’ leading position in low carbon fuels and greenhouse gas markets with Bluesource’s expertise in nature-based solutions, project development, capital formation and advisory services to create a vertically integrated climate-focused company that serves all sectors and geographies to accelerate the fight against climate change and environmental degradation.
Sr. Director, Marketing & Communications