This is the second piece in a series highlighting participating landowners who had planned timber harvests and instead opted not to cut for the next year to enroll in the NCX program. The Natural Capital Exchange was built to offer family forest owners, with properties big and small, anywhere in the contiguous US, an alternative to harvesting their trees to receive payment for the value of their forests beyond timber. Read the first post here.
Rick S. and his wife, Debbie, own over 80 acres of land at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The property is made up of mixed hardwood natural stands and planted pine. The land has been in Debbie’s family for generations and has provided various sources of income. A tract was originally an orchard, then a cattle farm, and finally the family transitioned it to pine.
Harvesting has always been a part of Rick and Debbie’s land management. They work with their consulting forester to selectively cut the hardwood and clearcut areas of planted pine. Rick shared, “The hardwoods are at the point to do a selective cut and we were planning to do it this year, but enrolling in NCX allowed us to defer the harvest. As long as we are receiving some income, we can defer.”
Over the years, the income from timber harvests was used to put Debbie and their children through college. Now Rick and Debbie view their timber assets as a way to support their retirement and offset property taxes. Rick commented, “Our woodlands are part of our retirement income. We wish to do our small part to help with the climate problem. This program allows us to defer cutting and still have the needed retirement income from the timber for the year.”
In the past, Rick and Debbie were aware of forest carbon programs but did not look into them because they thought smaller acreage properties were ineligible. When they found out about NCX, they appreciated that it offered small family forest owners the chance to participate in carbon markets and signed up for the Winter 2022 cycle.
To learn more about whether the NCX program is a good alternative to harvesting timber on your land, read about what makes your property eligible to enroll.