Boston, MA (PressExposure) April 24, 2011 -- Alternative Asset Analysis (AAA), which advocates ethical and alternative investments, has lent its support to the new Longleaf Pine Ecosystem Restoration Landowner Incentive Program.
The Incentive Program is being launched by Florida Department of Agriculture's Division of Forestry in an attempt to re-establish what was once a common species in the region, with forests stretching for hundreds of miles between Florida and Texas.
"Longleaf pine forests once covered a vast range from Texas to Virginia, but have been reduced to less than four per cent of historical area due to conversion to other land uses," explained Jim Karels, Director of the Division of Forestry.
AAA partner, Anthony Johnson, said, "The Florida Department of Agriculture is doing the right thing in trying to attract investment in the establishment of these forests, which provide habitats and precious ecosystems when they are standing and valuable timber once they are harvested."
The program is now asking for applications from non-industrial private forest landowners who want to invest over the long-term in the crop. Mr Karels added, "Longleaf pine forests are highly valued for their resistance to damage by insects, disease, wildfire and storms and for their yield of high quality wood products, biological diversity and scenic beauty."
The US Department of Agriculture's Forestry Service is supporting the scheme, which has an overriding goal of increasing the acreage of healthy Longleaf pine ecosystems in the state of Florida. It is offering incentive payments for success in establishing the ecosystem, through successful special control, timber stand improvement and other techniques that lead to the crops flourishing and adding to the local forestry coverage.
AAA, which supports any investment plan that helps to re-establish forested land across the world, added that the scheme could be a great success and could enhance Florida's natural diversity and habitat for other species.
Investing in forestry projects in Brazil, through firms like Greenwood Management - which allow individuals to invest relatively small amounts in established forests - also helps to provide the long-term finance to help the plantation managers expand into new species. "Brazil is particularly attractive to forestry investors at the moment," added Mr Johnson. "New legislation is making it difficult for timber or charcoal from native species to be used, so these plantations are offering the best alternative to industries in Brazil that use coal or timber, such as its growing steel industry."