By Dan Shapley
A 50,000-acre tract of California's redwood forest will be logged sustainably, thanks to a first-of-its kind privately financed deal. The $65 million purchase of the land near Fort Bragg by the Redwood Forest Foundation is backed by a Bank Of America loan, and the deal represents the first time a land conservation effort like this was financed without government money. The land was likely to have been subdivided and developed if not purchased, the foundation said. That's a scenario that is increasingly common around the country as the private owners of vast tracts of forest age, and their heirs exercise their options. With financial institutions increasingly committing large sums of money into long term sustainability and climate change mitigation projects, this kind of deal could represent a way forward to ensure that the nation's privately held forests aren't carved up into tiny patches that contribute far less to wildlife, water quality and carbon sequestration, according to a story in the June 15 Los Angeles Times.