Biden Administration Spending $150 Million To Help Small Forest Owners
The Biden administration said recently it will spend $150 million to help owners of small parcels of forestland partner with companies willing to pay them for carbon offsets and other environmental credits.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the grant program at a conference of Black landowners in coastal Georgia, saying programs that allow private companies to offset their own emissions by paying to protect trees have disproportionately benefited owners of large acreage.
“In order for those small, privately held forest owners to be able to do what they need and want to do requires a bit of technical help,” Vilsack told conference attendees. “And sometimes that technical help is not easy to find. It’s certainly not easy to afford.”
The grant money comes from the sweeping climate law passed by Congress just over a year ago and targets underserved landowners, including military veterans and new farmers, as well as families owning 2,500 acres (1,011 hectares) or less.
The goal is to protect more tracts of U.S. forest to help fight climate change. The past decade has reportedly seen a rapidly expanding market in which companies pay landowners to grow or conserve trees, which absorb carbon from the atmosphere, to counterbalance their own carbon emissions.