USFS Announces IRA Grants

U.S. Forest Service Awards Grant to City Forest Credits to Connect Small-Acreage Forest Owners around Cities to Carbon Markets

Funding to help land trusts and forest owners access carbon markets for conservation of small forests at high risk of conversion around cities

Seattle, WA, March 22, 2024 – The US Forest Service awarded City Forest Credits, a non-profit carbon registry, a nearly two-million dollar grant to help land trusts, small-acreage forest owners, and underserved landowners connect to carbon markets. The funding will help these land trusts and landowners generate carbon revenue for conservation and stewardship of at-risk small forest parcels in the urban-rural gradient around cities. City Forest Credits works only on carbon and co-benefits from tree preservation and planting in and around cities.

The grant team includes Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Georgia-Alabama Land Trust, and Davey Resource Group, a subsidiary of The Davey Tree Expert Company, who will establish Carbon Connection Teams to provide direct assistance to small-acreage landowners to navigate carbon crediting. Traditionally, smaller landowners near cities have not had access to the carbon markets because carbon developers and registries have focused on large exurban forest projects. The three grant partners have already enrolled eight carbon projects with the City Forest Credits (CFC) registry and conducted on-site carbon and ecosystem quantification for seventeen projects.

The trees and forests in and around cities are extraordinarily valuable, bringing environmental and social benefits to millions of people. Almost every city in the U.S. is losing tree canopy, and the remnant forest parcels around cities are converting to developed uses at high rates. Land trusts and private forest landowners are key in the fight to preserving high-quality forests, mitigating climate change, improving air quality, enhancing biodiversity, and providing many social and economic benefits to communities.

CFC has enrolled over 55 preservation and afforestation projects generating an estimated $213 million in ecosystem co-benefits over 50 years. Preservation projects alone have sold over 50,000 credits to buyers at prices from $25/ton to $55/ton on the voluntary market. Each City Forest Carbon+ CreditTM includes quantified co-benefits such as stormwater reduction, air quality impacts, and energy savings, as well as reported social impacts including equity for under-resourced communities and physical, mental, and social health benefits.

CFC’s program and preservation credits are endorsed by the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Accreditation (ICROA) in Geneva. ICROA is the premier global endorsing standard, and City Forest Credits joins only five other independent carbon standards endorsed by ICROA in North American.

“These conservation projects create a unique public resource carbon credit – trees on public land or with public access where people live, breathe, work, learn, and recreate. The projects are implemented by non-profits and local governments, so the carbon revenue goes right back into the trees,” said Mark McPherson, Founder and Executive Director, at City Forest Credits. “This gives companies the opportunity to buy offsets for conserving forest land, rather than from projects that continue to harvest trees.”


CONTACT: Morgan Anya,

About City Forest Credits

City Forest Credits is a non-profit carbon registry based in the U.S. The program administers carbon protocols and issues offset credits to tree preservation and planting projects in and around cities and towns.

About the USFS Forest Landowner Support Grant Program

Forest Landowner Support provides competitive grant opportunities to entities and organizations for delivering technical and financial assistance to private forest landowners—including Tribes, underserved landowners, and smaller-acreage landowners.

About Western Reserve Land Conservancy

The nationally accredited Western Reserve Land Conservancy — the largest local land trust in Ohio—provides the people of northern and eastern Ohio with essential natural assets through land conservation and restoration. To date, the Land Conservancy has permanently preserved more than 72,000 acres at 900 properties; helped create and expand nearly 200 public parks and preserves; led the efforts to create 60 county land banks across Ohio; and planted and distributed more than 15,000 robust trees in Cleveland.

About Georgia-Alabama Land Trust

The Georgia-Alabama Land Trust (GALT) is accredited and is the largest regional land trust in the Southeast. Over nearly three decades, GALT has protected more than 1,250 properties.

About Davey Resource Group

Davey Resource Group is a subsidiary of The Davey Tree Expert Company. The Davey Tree Expert Company provides research-driven tree services, grounds maintenance and environmental consulting for residential, utility, commercial and environmental partners in the U.S. and Canada. Established in 1880 and headquartered in Kent, Ohio, Davey has over 12,000 employees and is the ninth largest employee-owned company in the U.S. This year, Davey celebrates 45 years of employee ownership – Join us and apply today!