In 1999, the Fund purchased some 8,600 acres from the Chesapeake Forest Products Company in Accomack and Northampton Counties, Virginia. Vision Forestry worked with the Fund to develop a sustainable forest management plan and continues to oversee timber management activities, hunt club activities, and property security. The lands were certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Standard in 2010.
Delaware Wild Lands, Inc.
is a private, non-profit tax-exempt organization dedicated to the conservation and preservation of natural areas through the acquisition and management of strategic parcels of land. The Great Cypress Swamp represents the largest contiguous acreage holding of Delaware Wild Lands, and perhaps the largest private single owner contiguous forest land on the Delmarva Peninsula. This 11,000 acre property contains the headwaters of the Pocomoke River which in turn meanders through Maryland’s Eastern Shore to the Pocomoke Sound on the Chesapeake Bay near the Maryland and Virginia border. The current DWL holdings represent most of the remnants of what was estimated to be a swamp of 50,000 to 60,000 acres dominated by Atlantic white cedar and bald cypress. This property contains about 1,000 acres in Maryland with the remainder located in Delaware.
In the fall of 2005 DWL contracted with Vision Forestry to develop a state of the art Sustainable Forest Management Plan for the Great Cypress Swamp. The Great Cypress Swamp project represents an application of the Vision Forestry regional forestry knowledge to a privately owned significant natural area for the long-term benefit of both the natural area as well as the local community. Since that time, Vision Forestry has overseen timber management operations, restoration projects, and other forestry operations on the land. In 2010, the forest management program was certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Standard. http://www.delawarewildlands.org/
The Forestland Group, LLC
, (TFG), formed in 1995, is an independent timberland investment management organization (“TIMO”) which emphasizes naturally regenerating hardwood and some softwood forests. TFG currently manages approximately 3.4 million acres in 20 U.S. states as well as in Belize, Canada, and Costa Rica. TFG was a pioneering TIMO with respect to managing its portfolio as a Certified Resource Manager under the Forest Stewardship Council guidelines.
Vision Forestry has done the field management since 2003 on 22,000 acres in Caroline, Charles, Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester Counties, Maryland, and since 2010 have managed 13,350 acres in Essex, King and Queen, and Middlesex Counties in Virginia. This management consists of developing long-term sustainable forest management plans, overseeing day-to-day forestry operations, managing property security and boundaries, meeting FSC certification standards, complying with conservation easement requirements, and cooperating with hunt clubs who lease hunting rights. http://www.forestlandgroup.com/about.html
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Maryland/DC
was chartered in 1977. The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.
Vision Forestry has worked with TNC to develop a sustainable forest management plan on the Nassawango Forest Preserve, meet FSC certification requirements, and plan and oversee timber harvests on several TNC tracts in Maryland and Delaware. Vision Forestry also manages hunt club activities on several TNC properties in Maryland. http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/maryland_dc/index.htm
The Nature Conservancy in Virginia
was born in 1960, and has helped to protect over 300,000 acres of private and public land across the commonwealth. Vision Forestry collaborates with TNC to implement a conservation easement on The Forestland Group properties in Essex, King and Queen, and Middlesex Counties. http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/virginia/index.htm
The Chesapeake Forest Lands
are most of the former land holdings of the Chesapeake Forest Products Company, comprised of 238 parcels totaling more than 58,000 acres in five lower Eastern Shore Maryland counties. These lands make up 12 percent of the productive forests in the region, which in the past produced 15-20 percent of the region's annual timber harvest. In 1999, the State purchased 29,000 acres and The Conservation Fund, on behalf of the Richard King Mellon Foundation purchased 29,000 acres.
In December of 2000, The Conservation Fund transferred the deeds on their 29,000 acres to the State with a state-of-the-art sustainable forest management plan, which the State has agreed to implement as a condition of the gift. This gift and the management plan are intended to be a national model of public/private partnership, sustainable forestry and ecosystem management on public lands. Since the date of the original land acquisition the Chesapeake Forest has increased in size to 66,717 acres. This has occurred through the inclusion of several new forested tracts, two of which are existing DNR properties -- Wicomico Demonstration Forest in Wicomico County and Seth Demonstration Forest in Talbot County. Other sites added to the Forest include several new land purchases.
Vision Forestry was the contract land manager on the Chesapeake Forest Lands from 2001 to 2011. As manager, they implemented the sustainable forest management plan, oversaw all timber management operations, and pioneered the process of dual certification to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The management techniques developed have been recognized as an innovative and effective public-private partnership in forest land management. In a 2011 competitive bidding process, Vision Forestry was under-bid in their effort to renew the management contract. http://www.dnr.state.md.us/forests/chesapeakeforestlands.asp