The Chesapeake Forest Fund focuses its forest restoration actions on two primary practices: tree plantings and forest management. We plant trees along streams, in our cities, and other places important for water quality, public health, and wildlife habitat. Forest management actions are focused on invasive species removal and other practices that keep forests healthy and providing benefits to the public.
All forest restoration actions are implemented using rigorous methodologies that produce measurable outcomes: tons of carbon uptake; pounds of reduced nitrogen and phosphorus; and acres of improved habitat. These outcomes improve the overall health and economic well-being of local communities through the Chesapeake region. Visit our Environmental Benefits Calculations page for details on our tools and methodologies.
And we don’t just plant trees and walk away. While planning tree plantings with landowners, we make sure to leverage a wide variety of conservation programs including environmental markets, state and federal best management practice cost-share programs, conservation easement programs, and grant programs. This support ensures that we get more conservation outcomes for the buck and helps landowners meet property-wide conservation goals.
What does the landowner receive?
Most of our forest restoration occurs on family-owned, private farms and forests. Private landowners own nearly 80% of forests in the Chesapeake watershed and, therefore, provide much of the clean air and water, wildlife habitat, jobs, and other benefits we depend on in the Chesapeake region. As goes the stewardship of private lands, so goes the Chesapeake Bay.
The landowner receives a paid-in-full, turn-key service for the tree planting or forest management project on their property. For tree plantings, the Alliance manages the site preparation, tree planting, and up to five years of maintenance on the planting for the landowner.
What does a landowner commit to?
All landowners must commit to at least a minimum fifteen year agreement to neither harvest nor broadcast fertilize their tree planting. The Alliance gives preference to landowners interested in planting on lands with a conservation easement. Additional preference is given to projects that offer high conservation value, including riparian forest buffers, increased forest connectivity, or in areas with high development pressures. The Alliance plants only native trees, with tree selection tailored to the environmental conditions of the project area. If a landowner intentionally removes or destroys seedlings within the contract period, they must refund 100% of costs to the Alliance. The Alliance will re-invest these funds into a new tree planting project.