The new forests will support biodiversity and help ensure sustainable timber production from sustainable forests. Not to mention recovering land damaged by Hurricane Michael in October 2018. The project will begin by preparing the land for planting, including clearing debris from storm-damaged areas and rehabilitating abandoned pastureland. The company will plant a mix of local species on the property. They are focusing on longleaf pine. The total amount of new trees is at least 650,000 in the first rotation of the 40-year cycle.
“We are delighted to expand our forestry portfolio in the United States, and this demonstrates Ingka Group’s long-term commitment towards investing in responsible forest management. The Tupelo Honey acquisition is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the responsible forestry management approach Ingka Investments uses on all our properties: caring for the environment and the planet, meeting the needs of the local community through long-term, sustainable stewardship,” says Krister Mattsson, Managing Director, Ingka Investments, Ingka Group.
Longleaf pine will constitute most of the new forest. It’s a keystone species that support habitat for a variety of threatened and endangered plants and animals. Including gopher tortoises, dusky gopher frogs, pine snakes, and red-cockaded woodpeckers. Furthermore, longleaf pine is more resilient to the effects of climate change. To more than many other tree species, including resistance to forest fires.
“Reforestation and afforestation all form part of the solution for climate change, and the afforestation business – buying bare, unforested land and converting it by planting seedlings that will eventually become mature trees – is a long-term investment that consolidates our business while also positively impacting the climate through the absorption of CO2 during the forests’ growth,” Mattsson explains.