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U.S. Northwest gets forestry, biomass tax credits

NEWS HIGHLIGHT

U.S. Northwest gets forestry, biomass tax credits
The U.S. Treasury is allocating $ 30 million in new markets tax credits to forestry and biomass initiatives that create economic, social, and environmental benefit in the U.S. Northwest’s rural and disadvantaged communities.


November 18, 2009
By Canadian Biomass

Nov. 18, 2009, Portland,
OR – The U.S. Treasury is allocating $30 million in new markets tax credits to
initiatives that create economic, social, and environmental benefit in the U.S.
Northwest’s rural and disadvantaged communities. The allocations, to be provided
through Ecotrust, will: (1) help finance the
purchase and long-term management of forests by entities who wish to further
the public benefits that forests provide; (2) assist tribes in repatriating
former tribal forestlands and implementing long-term management plans that
improve forest health and provide economic benefits to the tribe; and (3) help
finance the start up or expansion of wood pellet, biomass, and other facilities
that create economic opportunities for rural communities and provide a market
for waste wood, logging slash, and other materials, with the intent to divert
waste from landfills, improve forest health, reduce the risk of forest fires,
develop markets for waste materials, and enhance the profitability of forests
that are managed to further the public interest.

The $30 million in new
markets tax credits to Ecotrust are among $5 billion in allocations made across
the country on 30 October 2009 by the U.S. Treasury, $1.5 billion of which is
from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. New markets tax credits are issued by the U.S.
Department of the Treasury to stimulate investment in communities suffering
from poverty and unemployment. Community development entities such as Ecotrust
compete for new markets tax credit allocations annually and are awarded the
funds based on their experience, capacity, and ability to stimulate investment
and jobs in economically disadvantaged communities. Historically, these credits
are applied to urban areas, making awards for rural community development
especially significant.

Through an affiliate,
Ecotrust will make investments in businesses in the forest products sector and
employ management practices that emphasize job creation and long-term
ecological restoration. Investments will allow degraded forestlands with value
as fish and wildlife habitat to be purchased, restored, and placed in long-term
harvest rotations. Investments are designed to occur in areas designated as economically
distressed by the U.S. Census Bureau.

“This tax credit will help
Ecotrust continue its important work on conservation-oriented forest
management,” said Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio. “It will help continue
their work on a range of economic development projects, including funding the
purchase of forestland for conservation and habitat improvements in critical
areas to expanding biomass facilities that both create economic opportunities
for rural communities and better use wood waste and forest slash.”


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