Blue Forest and the USDA Forest Service renew Memorandum of Understanding building on long standing partnership success

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 1st, 2023 — Blue Forest and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service are proud to announce the renewal of their long-standing partnership, reaffirming a shared commitment to restore ecosystems and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire across National Forest System lands.

Building on the success of this partnership over the past five years is critical to changing the trajectory of hazardous fuels management across the Western United States. This new Memorandum of Understanding outlines objectives to jointly accelerate the development of a pipeline of Forest Resilience Bonds projects to improve forest ecosystems and address wildfire and climate change risks in priority landscapes. This partnership directly supports the implementation of the Forest Service’s efforts to carry out the 10-year strategy for confronting the wildfire crisis in the West. The Strategy for Protecting Communities and Improving Resilience in America’s Forests will work to safeguard communities and the resources they depend on by increasing fuels treatments over time, promoting community readiness, and supporting postfire recovery and restoration.

“Our partnership with Blue Forest demonstrates our shared commitment to restore national forests and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire,” said Forest Service Chief Randy Moore. “Innovative public-private partnerships, like the Forest Resilience Bond, are part of the paradigm shift needed to confront the wildfire crisis.”

The Forest Service and Blue Forest have worked together since 2017 to build a successful partnership. As of fall 2022, this partnership has deployed financing to carry out $30 million of priority unfunded projects over 40,000 acres on the Tahoe National Forest. Blue Forest has engaged with over 25 National Forests across four Forest Service Regions to build capacity and develop over $100 million in potential Forest Resilience Bond projects.

“This Memorandum of Understanding is a testament to our successful collaboration with the Forest Service deploying the Forest Resilience Bond to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and restore ecosystems on public lands in the Western US,” said Blue Forest CEO, Zach Knight. “As we enter this next phase of our partnership, Blue Forest remains committed to developing innovative public-private partnerships to increase the pace and scale of forest restoration and to help the agency and key partners address the wildfire crisis.”

Throughout the term of this Memorandum of Understanding, Blue Forest and the Forest Service will be collaborating to finance over $100 million of Forest Service projects across multiple regions in the West.


About Blue Forest:

Blue Forest is a nonprofit organization committed to creating sustainable financial solutions to pressing environmental challenges. Blue Forest’s principal financial product, the Forest Resilience Bond (FRB), deploys private capital to finance forest restoration projects that reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. Blue Forest developed the FRB in partnership with the World Resources Institute, and works closely with the USDA Forest Service and a host of NGO and academic partners that provide research, evaluation, and implementation expertise. Blue Forest is proud to be an Environmental Partner of 1% for the Planet.

About the USDA Forest Service:

The Forest Service Conservation Finance Program leads the way in positioning the agency to leverage sources of capital beyond appropriations for priority projects. The program brings innovative funding and financing approaches to bear on the agency’s biggest challenges, including forest restoration to mitigate wildfire risk. The Program’s vision is to spark a new way of doing business, one in which the agency works with partners to routinely leverage external sources of capital at a scale that matches agency challenges and opportunities.