During the early 1900s, immigrants from around the world came to Pittsburgh to work in the area’s booming coal mines and steel mills in the Monongahela River valley. This led to great industrial development, which simultaneously brought economic prosperity and environmental decline.
One of these immigrants was Janet Sredy’s great-grandfather who purchased a 110-acre property in the 1920s for agricultural purposes. The land vegetation was eventually devastated by the air pollution from a major steel mill, located just a mile away. By the mid-1950s, Janet’s family could no longer farm the land.
Despite the property’s decline, the family viewed it as their homestead and a symbol of their ancestors’ success. In 2000, Janet and her brother Mark and their spouses inherited the land; in 2007, Janet and her husband, Raul Chiesa, formed Beckets Run Woodlands LLC to manage the property.
Janet and Raul built business and forest management plans to restore the forest and develop an ecosystem-based, economically-sustainable forestry enterprise that follows the most advanced and innovative practices and standards.
The highest priority to reach this objective is their continued work on restoration. Their mixed hardwood forest is located in the wildland-urban interface south of Pittsburgh which has been severely disrupted by pollution and invasive plant species. They implemented invasive plant control and timber stand improvement practices to enhance the quality and density of the trees on the property which is beneficial for both timber production and carbon sequestration.
Janet and Raul recognize there is always an opportunity to harvest trees in their area. Janet explains,
“We have a very robust timber market here. We could harvest at any time, we could harvest next week if we wanted to.”
As managers of their family’s property, they understand it is their fiduciary duty to consider the best ways to make an income from the woodlot.
With that in mind, Janet and Raul considered all forest carbon programs. When they evaluated NCX, they understood and felt comfortable with its science-driven approach to forest carbon. They also found the one-year contract was ideal for them. Raul recognizes, “It gives us flexibility. Carbon and timber market prices change from year-to-year. Not being locked in a long-term contract allows us to choose the best time to sell carbon credits or harvest.”
Janet and Raul are incredibly optimistic forest carbon can help mitigate human-caused climate change. They look to science to reinforce these beliefs, and also feel good about contributing to making the planet a better place for everyone. Raul states, “The consensus from the scientific community is that family forests are going to play a major role in mitigating climate change.”
Janet and Raul hope that selling carbon continues to become economically feasible for all family forests and acknowledge carbon buyers’ roles in making this a reality. Janet shares,
“We want to thank carbon buyers for cutting back on their greenhouse gas emissions and we appreciate them also investing in our forests as an additional mitigation step.”
The money Janet and Raul will receive from selling carbon credits on the Natural Capital Exchange in early 2023 will be used to continue restoration efforts.
Learn whether your land is a good fit to enroll in NCX. To support family forests across the contiguous US, buy carbon credits.