Enviva Forest Conservation Fund seeks 2021 proposals

By U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities | January 06, 2021

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities on Dec. 15 released a new request for proposals (RFP) for the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund. $500,000 is the targeted funding amount for 2021 grants to protect bottomland hardwood and other wetland forests in eastern North Carolina and southeast Virginia.

This is the sixth cycle of a $5 million, 10-year program, which was launched by Enviva Holdings LP (Enviva), and the Endowment in 2015. Not-for-profit organizations, government agencies, and tribes are eligible to apply for grants. The deadline for proposals is Jan. 29, 2021. The RFP and additional materials are available on the Endowment’s website.

“The Enviva Forest Conservation Fund was established to preserve sensitive forests that might otherwise be threatened by land conversion, altered hydrology, invasive species, and the impact of climate change. These forests are critical to biodiversity, community resiliency, outdoor recreation, and clean water within Virginia and North Carolina,” said Alicia Cramer, senior vice president at the Endowment. “Efforts, like those of the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund, in partnership with on-the-ground conservation organizations, will help preserve these special forests for years to come.”

“As we embark on our sixth year of this incredible work, we are proud to be on target to help conserve more than 35,000 acres of critical bottomland hardwood forests by 2025,” said Jennifer Jenkins, vice president and chief sustainability officer at Enviva. “Southern bottomland hardwoods and wetland forests not only protect wildlife and water quality, but they are also a critical component to the fight against climate change, and with the help of conservation organizations, we are helping to preserve these important ecosystems.”

Since its inception in 2015, the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund has supported 19 projects with approximately $2.2 million invested. Once completed, these projects will protect approximately 27,000 acres across North Carolina and Virginia. These protected forests help provide a clean drinking water source, act as a buffer to infrastructure during storms, and provide critical habitats for many species of wildlife while at the same time providing jobs and economic opportunity for rural families and private landowners.