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Burnett County, WI IFM Partnership

The Climate Trust (TCT) partnered with Burnett County, WI to develop a carbon project for 95,000 acres of forestland that has been entered into the Improved Forest Management on Non-Federal U.S. Forestlands Initiative with American Carbon Registry (ACR).  This represents over 85% of the county’s total forestland. 

The partnership between TCT and Burnett County is based on a 20-year contract, with the goal of optimizing and sustaining the forest’s utility including the production of forest products, recreational opportunities, wildlife, watershed protection, stabilization of stream flow, and most recently, carbon.

“This partnership with The Climate Trust brings together two organizations that are ardently focused on the highest and best use of our forest production areas in the County.  We are excited for this project and how it will benefit our community over the next 20 years.” – County Board Chairman, Donald Taylor.

Enrollment into a carbon project is fully consistent with the County’s Forest Comprehensive Land Use Plan.  “The mission of the Burnett County Forest and Park Department is to provide part of the base for satisfying the ecological and socioeconomic needs of Burnett County—to manage, conserve and protect our resources and facilities in a safe, sustainable condition for present and future generations.” – Forest Administrator, Jake Nichols

Burnett County’s forestland has a checkered history having experienced fires and failed farms.  Through investment and management by the county with assistance from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the lands have recovered and matured into productive forests.  A carbon project protects the significance of the forest’s health, and its benefits to the community.  The local community is dependent on the forest to generate timber revenues to offset local taxes and fund a portion of the local county government.  Carbon revenue will help diversify existing forest-based revenues, providing additional certainty and assistance with county budgeting for the next two decades. 

The sustainability of the project’s benefits is furthered by the 40-year commitment required by ACR for Burnett County to enter into the protocol. ACR is a leading global carbon crediting program operating in regulated and voluntary carbon markets.  With TCT leading the improved forest management methodology, the calculation of the project’s carbon benefit will be measurable and transparent, and will ensure a meaningful impact for Burnett County.  

 “Partnering with The Climate Trust furthers the County’s vision of stewardship by utilizing our forest asset for future revenue and supporting climate mitigation efforts, all while maintaining existing management practices and uses for the taxpayers of Burnett County.” – County Administrator, Nate Ehalt

Image of dark wheat field during sunrise.

Our Mission & Vision

As a nonprofit organization, our investments are driven by climate impact and put landowners first. We work alongside our partners to develop and fund projects that support grassland conservation, reforestation, and improved forest management strategies.