LandYield is a company established to offer US-based small non-industrial forest owners access to carbon offset markets.
Corporations with sustainability and environmental commitments purchase carbon offsets to reduce the impact of their carbon footprint. A carbon offset can be created by a forest when a landowner's voluntary actions result in the sequestration or the prevention of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. This carbon volume is then issued by a registry as a carbon offset or a credit. One (1) carbon offset represents a reduction or removal from the atmosphere equivalent to one (1) metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2e). Offset project registries issue carbon offsets to projects that have met the registry's robust carbon quantification requirements, as well as the requirements to ensure additionality and permanence. Credits are only issued after they've been successfully verified by an independent third-party. The American Carbon Registry (ACR) is the offset project registry that issues carbon offsets from LandYield projects.
Participating landowners defer commercial harvests in enrolled sites for the first 20-year period of the offset project and provide a deed in support of this commitment. During the second 20-year period, landowners can then elect to either implement sustainable harvesting (i.e. cutting an amount equal to growth above stocking levels at year 20) or, depending on the registry rules at the time, commit to another 20-year harvest deferral and generate additional offset revenue.
LandYield's offset projects have a 40-year term, as required by ACR. When landowners enroll their tracts with LandYield, they commit for the term of the LandYield project. If a landowner enrolls 12 months following the start of the project, the landowner commitment would be 39 years (and so on). LandYield reserves the right to wind-down its program, in which case landowners will receive payments earned to date and be relieved of all obligations and commitments.
LandYield follows the requirements of ACR's methodology for small non-industrial forest owners to enroll forested parcels in carbon offset projects. LandYield has exclusive access to CORE Carbon™, Finite Carbon's online platform, to aggregate numerous small landholdings into larger projects and uses innovative technology such as remote sensing to monitor forest conditions over time.
The American Carbon Registry (ACR) was founded in 1996 as the first private, voluntary GHG registry in the world, operating in both the voluntary and regulated carbon markets. ACR has over two decades of experience in the development of environmentally rigorous, science-based offset methodologies, as well as operational experience in the oversight of carbon project verification, registration, offset issuance and retirement reporting.
Owners of private, non-industrial forest owners located in the Southeast (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, WV) of the United States that own between 40 and 5,000 forested acres are eligible. Sites with legal restrictions that prevent timber harvesting are not eligible. Eligibility conditions are specified in the applicable quantification methodology approved by ACR. The methodology can be viewed here.
Both plantation and natural forest assets can be enrolled. Recently-logged stands can be enrolled as part of a site that also includes merchantable stands. Non-forested areas are not included in the program.
The program is initially open to eligible landowners in the Southeastern United States, which includes up to 120 million acres of family-owned forest lands in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. There are plans to expand the program to other regions in the U.S. in the future.
The Improved Forest Management on Small Non-Industrial Private Forestlands methodology limits participation to landowners with forested acres of less than 5,000 acres. Participating landowners must enroll at least 40 forested acres.
Eligibility depends upon the terms of the conservation easement. Working forest easements that allow for timber production may be eligible. Lands with a legally binding prohibition on timber harvesting are not eligible for LandYield enrollment. Owners may place an easement on enrolled lands AFTER enrollment into LandYield.
Timberlands that are subject to liens/mortgages would likely require lender approval to participate.
Landowners use LandYield's website and the CORE Carbon platform to evaluate program economics and identify tracts for enrollment. To enroll, landowners create an account and upload forest ownership information. LandYield will then review submitted information to confirm landowner eligibility. If approved, landowners will confirm enrollment by signing LandYield landowner agreements.
No. Eligible landowners can enroll all or just a portion of their forested lands, provided that landowners own between 40-5,000 forested acres (including both enrolled and non-enrolled lands). Forest management practices on non-enrolled lands are subject to certain restrictions to ensure that they are not managed unsustainably.
Nothing. Landowners make a 40-year commitment, including a 20-year harvest deferral. LandYield pays all costs associated with establishing and managing offset projects.
No. The methodology used by LandYield was specially developed to remove financial barriers such as the cost of inventory for landowners.
Yes. There are multiple opportunities to review the selected parcels before submission. You can also modify or withdraw your parcels after LandYield's review and confirmation. Until the Landowner Enrollment Agreement is signed, there is no commitment to proceed.
LandYield is committed to security. Payments are processed through Stripe, an industry standard online payments processor. Identity and signature are verified with Trulioo and Docusign. Additional information about these services can be found at Stripe.com, Trulioo.com, and Docusign.com.
Yes. As a landowner, after you create an account on the LandYield platform, you can authorize and designate a forester or other representative, e.g., family member, to access the account on your behalf.
REVENUES AND PAYMENT
Offset volumes reflect enrolled stand attributes (the forest type, stocking, harvesting constraints, and regional timber markets) and methodology requirements.
Offset prices are fixed during the first three years of the project. In the remaining years of the 20-year crediting period, LandYield will determine the market price at time of each issuance taking into account publicly-available contracts, indices and broker quotes to the extent available.
While offsets are issued annually, payments are made quarterly. Payments are dependent upon continued performance of your obligations as the landowner (i.e. harvest deferral, reporting).
Landowners are required to make declarations on the LandYield platform quarterly and these must be submitted to receive payments. You will be notified by email when your reporting period is open.
Yes. But note that an early exit from your commitment would result in contract termination and require LandYield to return to ACR a quantity of offsets equal to the total volume issued from your terminated parcels. To complete an exit, Landowners are required to pay the current value of the returned offsets. Details of these terms are set out in the Landowner Enrollment Agreement.
Yes. If a landowner sells the enrolled forests and the new landowner qualifies and agrees to the assignment of the obligations, the landowner can sell the property without penalty. If the buyer does not agree to participate, the landowner can sell the lands but will be obligated to pay the current value of the offsets associated with the sold parcel to extract the property from the program.
An intentional breach of contract by a landowner would result in contract termination and require repayment of the current value of the offsets associated with the landowner's terminated parcels. Further details of these terms are set out in the Landowner Enrollment Agreement.
For the project's first 20 years, commercial timber harvests are prohibited under the Small, Non-Industrial Private Forestlands methodology. You can do some cutting - including firewood harvesting for personal use, the installation of small clearings, salvage cutting, and preventative silvicultural treatments to manage pest and disease outbreaks. After the project’s first 20 years, you will also be permitted to harvest growth in excess of Y20 carbon stocks. All of these activities need to be monitored and reported.
Aside from restrictions on the commercial harvesting of timber, other commercial activities not affecting the timber are permitted on enrolled sites. Examples of allowed activities include leasing hunting rights, collection of non-timber forest products, or use of cultural sites.
Landowners can create small clearings for food plots, cabin sites, hunting stands, widened roads, turn-around areas or the equivalent. You are also allowed to cut firewood for personal use or to help clean and maintain a forest's health. Clearing trees for these permitted purposes may reduce carbon payments over time. Landowners are not permitted to flood or drain forest areas during the project term.
Landowners are not liable or responsible for damage from natural disasters. Natural events such as fires, hurricanes, floods, etc., are considered "unintentional reversals" under the ACR Standard, and are compensated for by ACR's insurance buffer pool. These events reduce the carbon stocks on sites and therefore may reduce forward-looking available offset revenue. If a natural disaster occurs, landowners should log in to their online account or contact LandYield via email. Once reported, LandYield will work with an impacted landowner to determine the optimal path forward for the affected parcels.
As LandYield will hold rights pertaining to the timber under the deed issued by the landowner, LandYield approval will be required for loans that use enrolled properties as collateral. Lenders would need to acknowledge LandYields rights and interests.
Still have questions?
Contact us at: email [email protected]