Apple, The Conservation Fund to protect 3,600 acres of Brunswick County forest is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Green Swamp preserve in Brunswick County. Photo courtesy The Nature Conservancy.
Green Swamp preserve in Brunswick County. Photo courtesy The Nature Conservancy.

The Conservation Fund recently announced that it is partnering with Apple to help protect working forests in the United States.

The initiative will conserve more than 36,000 acres of working forestland in Maine and North Carolina, “ensuring these forests stay forests and any timber on the land is harvested sustainably,” according to a news release from the nonprofit organization.

The partnership will protect more than 3,600 acres of pine and hardwood forest in Brunswick County. This property sits adjacent to the 17,424-acre Green Swamp Preserve, which is owned and conserved by The Nature Conservancy.

Related story: Nature Conservancy acquires 459 acres in Pender County

“With high-quality pine savannas and striking and unusual plants and flowers, it had long been a conservation priority,” the news release states. “The Brunswick forest will be managed by the fund as a sustainable working forest.”

The Maine conservation acquisition includes 32,400 acres on the Mattawamkeag River in Aroostook County.

“Apple is clearly leading by example—one that we hope others will follow,” said Larry Selzer, president and CEO of The Conservation Fund. “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.”

Through its commitment, Apple can ensure a steady supply of sustainably harvested timber to paper and pulp mills, the news release states. The program places conservation easements on the land, which ensure sustainable harvests and restrict the subdivision or conversion of land to non-forest uses. In addition, this land can only be sold with the conservation easements intact, and sale proceeds are reinvested to protect other vulnerable forestlands.

Out of 750 million acres of U.S. forests, more than 420 million acres are “working” forests, which provide timber for construction, as well as fiber for paper and packaging. More than 45 million acres of those forests are at risk of being lost to development.

“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.

For more information on the Fund’s partnership with Apple, as well as the individual forests, click here.