Pacific Forest Trust is an accredited[1][2] non-profit conservation land trust that advances forest conservation and stewardship solutions. Its mission is to sustain America's forests for their public benefits of wood, water, wildlife, and people's wellbeing, in cooperation with landowners and communities.[3]


Pacific Forest Trust was founded in 1993 by Laurie Wayburn and Constance Best to provide incentives and support to encourage and enable forest landowners to conserve their properties.[4][5] Laurie Wayburn, an environmentalist and Harvard Alumna,[6] is the daughter of noted environmentalist Edgar Wayburn. Constance Best is a conservationist and entrepreneur.[4]


The Trust's strategy is to make conservation an economically competitive use of forests and other associated lands. They partner with private landowners to permanently conserve their forests, prioritizing long-term forest health and productivity that benefit the public, with 82,484 acres currently under conservation easement.[7] They promote forest conservation[8][9][10] because it helps mitigate climate change,[11][12][13][14] protects water resources,[15][16][17][18] serves as habitat for wildlife,[19][20] and offers recreational opportunities for those who enjoy the outdoors.

Pacific Forest Trust promotes practical implementation of stewardship forestry—forestry, which encourages natural, native forest composition, age distributions, processes, and structures—on private forestlands.[21] They do this through providing research results, technical and management planning assistance, demonstration, advice and education for landowners, resource managers, and governmental agency personnel.[22][23] Pacific Forest Trust's Van Eck Forest Project[24][25] is an example of this type of forestry.[26] This project was also the first emissions reduction project registered and independently verified in California.[27][28][29]

Policy and advocacy

The Trust develops policy initiatives and analyses to generate new incentives for—or remove barriers to—long-term forest stewardship, promoting initiatives and regulations that support landowners' investments in the restoration and conservation of their land. They pioneered the conception and implementation of the Working Forest Conservation Easement,[30] which is a conservation easement "specifically designed to protect working forests in which the harvesting of timber and other forest products is sustained in perpetuity along with related conservation values”[31] such as wildlife habitat, water sources, and climate-mitigating stores of carbon.

Pacific Forest Trust also led the process of including legitimate and verifiable standards for forest carbon into the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006[32] and participated in the development of the Forest Project Protocol.[33] By doing so they created the basis for the ongoing market in forestry-based Carbon Credits that has been facilitating the reduction of net emissions of CO2 since it was enacted.[34][35]

In addition, the Trust developed a streamlined approach to obtaining Safe Harbor Agreements, that ensure landowners are rewarded—rather than penalized—for maximizing conservation of habitat for animals that are in danger of extinction.[36]

In 2004, Pacific Forest Trust also spearheaded an attempt to add nearly 1,600 acres to the Yosemite National Park by purchasing 793 acres of the land[37] and then offering it to the National Park for inclusion.[38][39][40] The local Congressman Tom McClintock halted the attempt.[41]

Awards and accolades


Some environmental groups opposed the rules that authorized the production of Carbon Credits from forestland, including the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity and two dozen others.[48] It is still controversial.[49]


  1. ^ "Find A Land Trust | Land Trust Alliance". Land Trust Alliance. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  2. ^ "Land Trust Locator - Pacific Forest Trust". Land Trust Accreditation Commission. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  3. ^ "About Us - Pacific Forest Trust". Pacific Forest Trust. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  4. ^ a b Clark, Champ (2008-04-21). "Protectors of the Planet". People Magazine. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  5. ^ Arthur, Damon (2012-07-28). "Conservation easements and land trusts growing trend in north state". Redding Record Searchlight. Archived from the original on 2016-06-09. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  6. ^ Porter Brown, Nell (2010-05-01). "Seeing the Forest for Its Trees". Harvard Magazine. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  7. ^ "Forest Conservation Projects". Pacific Forest Trust. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  8. ^ "What We Do: Conserve Forest Landscapes". Pacific Forest Trust. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
  9. ^ Best, Constance (1997-01-01). "The Pacific Forest Trust". In Peter Schoonmaker (ed.). The Rainforests of Home. Island Press. pp. 197–201. ISBN 9781610913379. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  10. ^ Rowe, Jonathan (2013-04-01). Barnes, Peter (ed.). Our Common Wealth: The Hidden Economy That Makes Everything Else Work. Berrett Koehler Publishers Inc. ISBN 9781609948351. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  11. ^ "What We Do: Advance Climate Solutions". Pacific Forest Trust. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  12. ^ Hagstrom, Jerry (2007-07-07). "Nature's Storage System". National Journal. Vol. 39, no. 360–4217. Government Research Corporation. p. 31,32. Retrieved 2016-06-18.
  13. ^ AP (2007-02-26). "Experts: Deforestation Hurts Climate". Lewiston Sun Journal. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  14. ^ Ellison, Katherine (2000-10-15). "Trust Seeks to Harvest 'Carbon Credits' From Forests". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-06-18.
  15. ^ "What We Do: Protect Water Sources". Pacific Forest Trust. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  16. ^ Best, Connie; Martin, Tom (2015-12-15). "Help needed to protect forests, water supply in California". Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  17. ^ Nichols, Dana M. (2013-06-15). "Pact protects Sierra ranchland, upper Calaveras River". Local Media Group. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  18. ^ "Assembly declares trees as part of state's water systems". Central Valley Business Times. Sacramento. 2016-06-06. Archived from the original on 2016-06-07. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
  19. ^ "What We Do: Save Wildlife Habitat". Pacific Forest Trust. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  20. ^ Mortenson, Eric (2010-12-03). "In a timber wars turnabout, Washington tree farm improves habitat for spotted owl". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
  21. ^ Gurnon, Emily (2004-08-05). "A Battle Won?". North Coast Journal Weekly.
  22. ^ Hunt, Ed (2000-07-18). "To save a forest, chop here". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2016-06-18.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ McCarthy, James (2014-11-17). "Drummond Woodsum lawyers help Appalachian Mountain Club cash in on uncut trees". Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  24. ^ "Van Eck Forest Laboratories". Pacific Forest Trust. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  25. ^ PASSERO, Michelle; KATZ, R.; WAYBURN, L. (2008). "The Van Eck Forest Management Project in California". In Streck C.; O’Sullivan R.; Janson-Smith T.; Tarasofsky R. (eds.). Climate Change and Forests: Emerging Policy and Market Opportunities. Brookings Institution Press. pp. 289–291. ISBN 9780815781929. JSTOR 10.7864/j.ctt1262cq.28. ((cite book)): |journal= ignored (help)
  26. ^ Barnard, Jeff (2010-01-10). "Where environmental concerns meet timber interests". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2016-09-11. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  27. ^ "Forest Carbon Portal: The van Eck Forest". Forest Trends. Archived from the original on 2016-06-12. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  28. ^ DeBare, Ilana (2008-09-07). "Forests break green ground by selling offsets". SFGate. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  29. ^ The Press Democrat (2008-02-12). "Humboldt Forest in 1st Carbon Offset Deal". Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  30. ^ Greenwire, Laura Petersen Of (2011-09-29). "Calif. Forest Hailed as Model for New Management Paradigm". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  31. ^ Tesini, Dan (2009-01-01). "Working Forest Conservation Easements". The Urban Lawyer. 41 (2): 359–375. JSTOR 41549269.
  32. ^ Whitesell, William. "AB32 and California's Forestry Sector" (PDF). Center for Clean Air Policy. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-06-15. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  33. ^ "Forest Project Protocol Development". Climate Action Reserve. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  34. ^ Roosevelt, Margot (2009-06-01). "California forests hold one answer to climate change". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  35. ^ The Victoria Advocate, New York Times News Service (2000-11-12). "Texas Company to Preserve Trees in Trade for Pollution". Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  36. ^ Reese, April (2009-03-26). "ENDANGERED SPECIES: Calif. land trust balances habitat restoration, logging under safe harbor agreement for spotted owl". E&E Publishing. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  37. ^ "Land adjacent to California's Yosemite park bought by conservation group". Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. 2004. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  38. ^ CONE, TRACIE (2013). "Bills would expand Yosemite National Park slightly". AP Online. Press Association, Inc. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  39. ^ "Costa Bill Would Restore Yosemite to Muir's Original Vision". States News Service. States News Service. 2013. Archived from the original on 2016-08-28. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  40. ^ "Sen. Feinstein Introduces Bill to Expand Yosemite's Western Boundary". US Fed News Service, Including US State News. The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd. 2013. Retrieved 2016-06-15.l
  41. ^ Rogers, Paul (2014-06-17). "Yosemite National Park Expansion Stalls in Congress". San Jose Mercury News.
  42. ^ "Climate Action Reserve Announces 2012 Climate Action Champion Award Recipients". Climate Action Reserve. 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  43. ^ "July 2010 Accreditation Decisions". Land Trust Accreditation Commission. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  44. ^ "Ranks of Accredited Land Trusts Grow". Land Trust Accreditation Commission. 2016-02-16. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  45. ^ 2009 Climate Protection Award Winners. "Climate Protection Partnerships". U. S. EPA. Retrieved 29 January 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  46. ^ "Energy Star and Other Climate Protection Partnerships, 2008 Annual Report". Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  47. ^ "EPA Honors Climate and Ozone Layer Protection Award Winners". Environmental Protection Agency. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  48. ^ Bailey, Eric (2009-09-25). "New California rules allow timber firms to sell carbon credits". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
  49. ^ Parrish, Will (2016-05-11). "Cap & Trade: Selling Pollution". Anderson Valley Advertiser. Retrieved 2016-06-15.

Further reading