B y Matthew Saari

Whitehall Mayor Phil Smith announced at the July Village Board meeting that he had received a letter from the Nature Conservancy offering the village $200,000 for “forest carbon credits.”

Whitehall Mayor Phil Smith

This payment program is a part of the Nature Conservancy’s Working Woodlands program which began in Pennsylvania in 2011 and has since expanded to New York.
“Working Woodlands is a model forest conservation program that harnesses certified forest management and the growing carbon market to catalyze private forest protection,” the organization states. “This program establishes strategic alliances among the Conservancy, property owners and private corporations to achieve major conservation goals and deliver forest carbon payments to Working Woodlands landowners.”
Troy Weldy, senior conservation manager at the Nature Conservancy, said Whitehall was identified through a statewide analysis by the organization.
“We were looking at large blocks of forested land owned by one landowner,” he said Monday. “It varies…but we typically look at 1,000 acres and up.”

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