The purpose of the Forest Carbon Offset Pilot Program is to assist land trusts with forested fee lands in gaining access to voluntary carbon offset markets by aggregating their holdings with those of other land trusts and/or easement landowners. The Land Trust Alliance (the Alliance) and Finite Carbon have established a collaboration to effectively design and nimbly implement this pilot program for the benefit of individual land trusts and their conservation easement partners nationwide.   

The voluntary carbon offset market refers to the voluntary purchase and sale of carbon offsets, which represent reductions or removals of greenhouse gases (GHGs) resulting from eligible project activities. It is a global market with demand provided primarily by corporations motivated by corporate social responsibility. The natural climate solutions that land trusts already provide on their lands creates a natural fit for the voluntary carbon offset market, most commonly through improved forest management (IFM) projects.  

IFM projects increase or maintain forest carbon stocks relative to baseline levels through management actions, such as extending harvest rotation lengths, maintaining stocks at a high level, widening stream buffer widths and increasing productivity by removing diseased or suppressed trees. Forests that are passively managed or managed for old-growth characteristics are eligible. The overarching goals of IFM projects are generally aligned with land trusts’ stewardship and management goals, creating an opportunity for substantial unrestricted and sustainable income streams to support land trust operations. 

See how land trusts have used the program

Learn how Loon Echo Land Trust and Mahoosuc Land Trust utilized and benefitted from the Forest Carbon Offset Program.

“There are no two ways about it—we would not have been able to capitalize on the carbon market without the support of the Alliance program."
Kirk Siegel, executive director of Mahoosuc Land Trust

Learn more about the program

Reach out

To learn more, please contact the primary project managers for the Forest Carbon Offset Pilot Program:

Erin Heskett

Vice President of Conservation Initiatives, Land Trust Alliance

eheskett@lta.org | 269-929-8427

Dylan Jenkins

Vice President of Product Development, Finite Carbon