BETHESDA, Md. (News release) -- In March of 2020, Enviva and The Longleaf Alliance announced a five-year partnership with the goal of protecting and restoring longleaf pine forests, one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in North America.
One year into the five-year partnership, the two organizations have released a joint Annual Report detailing the progress that has been made to-date towards increasing acreage of longleaf pine forests across the U.S. Southeast, both on private and public lands.
Appropriate biomass removals are a critical step in the longleaf restoration process because many existing longleaf forests need thinning and millions of acres of former longleaf forests have been converted to other forest types.
As part of the partnership, The Longleaf Alliance provides technical expertise to ensure that Enviva's biomass sourcing in mapped longleaf forests improves forest ecosystem conditions. The Longleaf Alliance also provides assistance in reaching out to landowners and land managers who want to restore longleaf in the region.
"We are so pleased to be working with The Longleaf Alliance to help restore critically threatened longleaf pine ecosystems in the U.S. Southeast. Our work on restoration through removing low-value wood is an important part of our responsible sourcing strategy, where we work directly with landowners to ensure that our sourcing is having a positive impact on forests," said Dr. Jennifer Jenkins, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer of Enviva. "We look forward to expanding our restoration work together over the coming years."
For Enviva, the partnership with The Longleaf Alliance is a critical part of how it is implementing key provisions of its Responsible Sourcing Policy (RSP), which describes the company's commitment to ensure wood is sourced according to strict environmental standards.
In its RSP, Enviva pledges to help restore critical, threatened, or declining forest types, of which longleaf forest is an important example. The Longleaf Alliance also provides technical input and verification for Enviva's inclusion of longleaf-dominant forests as a High Conservation Value (HCV) - Enviva will only source from these HCV forests if this sourcing maintains or improves the condition of the longleaf forest.
"Over the past year, The Longleaf Alliance and Enviva have made significant progress in reaching our goal of using restoration-oriented biomass sourcing to help landowners and partners advance their longleaf restoration objectives," said Carol Denhof, President of The Longleaf Alliance. "As this tool becomes more available across the U.S. Southeast, we are excited to see both the economic and ecological benefits that will be provided to landowners and their forest lands."
The Annual Report's key takeaways include:
- The Longleaf Alliance developed a method to assess to what extent Enviva's sourcing improved or helped restore longleaf stands, based on the longleaf community's rapid-assessment stand condition metrics for desired species composition and forest structure
- The Longleaf Alliance trained Enviva staff to use the longleaf rapid-assessment app
- Enviva's sourcing helped to improve or restore over 3,400 acres of longleaf forests, based on post-harvest assessments of stands with the rapid-assessment app
- Enviva helped to certify over 6,600 acres of privately-owned, predominantly longleaf forests
The partnership's first Annual Report is available online. For more information about the partnership, take a look at the initial announcement here. To learn more about Enviva's support of longleaf restoration visit www.envivabiomass.com/sustainability/forests/conservation/longleaf-restoration/