Conservation | November 8, 2018

‘Forest resilience bond’ to mitigate wildfire risk in Tahoe National Forest

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, November 7 – Blue Forest Conservation and World Resources Institute have launched a $4.6 million “forest resilience bond” to restore 15,000 acres of forestland in Tahoe National Forest’s North Yuba River watershed.

California is confronting increasingly severe wildfires and recently experienced the largest wildfire in the state’s history. “Without urgent action, wildfires will be even deadlier and costlier in years to come,” the partners said in a statement about the bond.

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The forest resilience bond originated as a winning concept in the 2015 Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge.  If the project succeeds in mitigating wildfire risk, the investors will be repaid by the Yuba Water Agency, which has a stake in water quantity and quality, and California’s state Climate Change Investment program. 

The Rockefeller Foundation, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, Calvert Impact Capital, and CSAA Insurance Group are providing the upfront capital. Their commitments will enable the National Forest Foundation to lead the forest restoration work, which includes tree thinning, meadow restoration, prescribed burning, and invasive species management.

Researchers will monitor the impacts on water supply and other ecosystem services to quantify the benefits of restoration activities.