To continue its work identifying sensitive bottomland forest tracts, and to develop enhanced sustainable management practices for bottomland forestry, in May 2016 the Endowment and Enviva brought together a “blue-ribbon panel” composed of 45+ environmental and forestry experts, including members from state forestry and wildlife agencies, universities and conservation groups. The group spent two and a half days together in Roanoke Rapids, VA, and the goals of the workshop were as follows:
1. To develop a set of forest management recommendations to enhance the environmental and conservation attributes of bottomland hardwood forests that:
- Are based on the best science available;
- Will improve ecological outcomes for managed bottomland hardwood forests;
- Are practical for a landowner or procuring organization to understand and implement; and
- Are economically viable for landowners and/or procuring organizations.
2. To develop a set of recommendations on ways to incentivize, support, and encourage the system of actors in land management to voluntarily manage and enhance ecological attributes of these forests over time, irrespective of who may be the landowner or customer for their wood.
3. To identify major information gaps and research needed in order to better understand forest management impacts and options in working bottomland hardwood forests.
View the final report from the workshop, released in November 2016.
Enviva has already begun applying these recommendations to its sourcing process, most notably in the implementation of the HCV tract assessment process. Enviva submitted a memo to the Panelists, thanking them for their hard work and describing how the recommendations from the Panel have already been and will continue to be used, which can be found here. On October 14, 2016, Enviva held a conference call with members of the “blue-ribbon panel” to discuss its recommendations. Listen to a recording of the conference call.