TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Forest Service announced that applications are now being accepted for the 2022 Sequestering Carbon and Protecting Florida Land Program, a state-funded grant aimed at establishing and protecting robust forest lands in Florida by providing incentive payments to landowners. Applications will be accepted through August 12, 2022.
“Forests are a critical component of addressing climate change, and 65 percent of Florida’s forest lands are privately owned,” said Commissioner Nikki Fried. “Supporting our forest landowners is vital to Florida’s ecosystems and the timber industry. We must embrace natural climate solutions by keeping forests as forests, and the Sequestering Carbon and Protecting Florida Land Program does just that.”
Now in its second year, the state-funded Sequestering Carbon and Protecting Florida Land Program is open to non-industrial, private landowners, a county or local government, or a legally organized and registered nonprofit organization, entity, or institution. Applicants may request funding for tree establishment practices on a minimum of 20 acres up to a maximum of 250 acres. The grant covers site preparation, purchasing seedlings, and tree planting.
“The initial investment of site preparation, seedlings, and planting is costly,” said Erin Albury, State Forester and Florida Forest Service Director. “The Sequestering Carbon and Protecting Florida Land Program helps landowners overcome the hurdle of establishment costs and works toward our mission of ensuring our state’s forest lands are available for future generations.”
Forest ecosystems serve as carbon sinks, provide wildlife habitat, and supply a renewable timber resource. While forests remove CO2 from the atmosphere during the lifespan of a tree, the benefits continue well beyond the time a tree is harvested. When trees are harvested and utilized for wood products, such as mass timber, those products continue to store carbon.
To obtain an application or to learn more about the Sequestering Carbon and Protecting Florida Land Program, visit FDACS.gov/CarbonProgram.
The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres.
–Florida Forest Service