Pledge by Blue Forest Conservation
Leveraging private markets to increase the pace and scale of forest restoration
Supporting actions: Conservation Finance,
Blue Forest is a mission-driven, non-profit organization creating sustainable financial solutions to meet pressing environmental challenges. Our flagship financial product, the Forest Resilience Bond (FRB), deploys private capital to finance forest restoration projects on private and public lands to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. We are pleased to expand the scope of the FRB to help provide innovative financial solutions to support reforestation and the expansion of healthy forest ecosystems.
In 2018, the Forest Service signed an agreement with Blue Forest Conservation documenting their shared commitment to landscape-scale restoration. Later that year, the Tahoe National Forest and Blue Forest Conservation partnered to launch The Yuba Project. Developed in partnership with the World Resources Institute, the first FRB provides $4 million in private capital from four investors to finance ecological restoration treatments across 15,000 acres of national forest. The State of California and the Yuba Water Agency are repaying investors at contracted rates as restoration work is completed, with the Tahoe National Forest providing in-kind support and funding for project planning, development and execution.
With Forest Resilience Bond financing in place, the Tahoe National Forest is working with the National Forest Foundation to implement work on the ground through a Master Stewardship Agreement. FRB financing has made it possible for the Tahoe to accelerate work and complete projects in just four years instead of the projected 10 to 12 years.
National Forest Foundation
The Forest Resilience Bond (FRB) seeks to overcome the funding gap for forest restoration, not through increases in public or philanthropic sources, but by allowing private capital to play a role in supporting public land management. Billions of dollars of sustainable investment capital is available, but remains undeployed due to a lack of investment opportunities in the conservation finance space. As a result, conservation-focused investors have not had an opportunity to support these projects due to a lack of viable deals.
The FRB is taking the critical steps of bridging the gap between investors and environmental interventions by developing the measurement technology, innovative contracting scheme, and financial structures that will allow private capital to fund land management on public lands, all while ensuring that land remains public and protects the integrity of forest landscapes.
The NEPA process ensures public engagement and input during the project development and scoping processes, and ensures that the outcomes of projects prioritizes ecological and community health. The public lands on which these projects take place are stewarded by Federal agencies and managed for public benefit.