Apple partners with The Conservation Fund to protect our nation’s forests.
The U.S. has more than 420 million acres of working forests and more than 45 million of those acres are at risk of development. Working forests are huge swaths of privately held forests that are often managed for forest products like pulp and timber. But when these working forests are sold, they’re broken up into parcels and sold for commercial purposes. But in an effort to maintain the forests, Apple is partnering with The Conservation Fund on The Working Forest Fund (WFF) to purchase more than 36,000 acres of sustainably managed working forest in Maine and North Carolina.
The working forests are the combined size of San Francisco and will be protected from development through easements, while ensuring that they’re sustainably managed.
“Apple is clearly leading by example—one that we hope others will follow,” said Larry Selzer, president and CEO of The Conservation Fund in a statement. “By all accounts, the loss of America’s working forests is one of our nation’s greatest environmental challenges. The initiative announced today is precedent-setting.”
The partnership will protect 32,400 acres of forest in Aroostook, Maine, an area home to abundant wildlife including Atlantic salmon, bald eagles, northern goshawk, and Canada lynx. The area will remain a sustainably managed forest in an effort to preserve jobs in the area. The other protected area is in the Brunswick Forest in North Carolina. The 3,600 acre area is home to pine and hardwood forests and adjacent to a 17,000 acre swamp preserve. This further expands an already conserved area.
“The status quo for America’s working forests is simply not acceptable,” said Selzer. “We will continue to drive innovative solutions that help ensure their protection and create a sustainable future for generations to come. Today’s announcement is both a turning point and blueprint for forest conservation,” he concluded.
Thus far through The Conservation Fund’s program, 400,000 acres of working forests have been conserved in 13 states. This means that they’re held by easements and if the land is purchased, the conservation easements must be maintained. This way these continuous forests and the habitats that they host will be around for years to come. The lands cannot be broken up into smaller pieces of land and sold for residential and commercial development purposes. It’s a big win for America’s great forests, too many of which have already been cut down.
Apple is also in the process of working with SunPower to build two new 20 megawatt solar farms. According to AppleInsider, “The new facilities will be constructed in China’s southwestern Sichuan province, within Hongyuan and Ruoergai counties in the Aba Tibetan & Qiang Autonomous Prefecture. They will be co-owned by Apple and Sichuan Shengtian New Energy Development Co., a joint venture between SunPower and a consortium of Chinese firms.”Apple seems to be taking major steps to expand its conservation role.
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Image of a sustainably managed forest from Shuttershock