Stretching 1,500 miles from Alabama to Canada, the Appalachian Mountains are home to the world’s largest broadleaf forest. This invaluable natural resource is responsible for storing one million metric tons of carbon per year — most of the United States’ forest carbon storage capacity.
Yet despite the region’s importance in the fight against climate change, the Appalachians face a growing barrage of threats from unplanned development, unsustainable forest management, and extractive energy practices.
To guard this vital landscape, the Open Space Institute launched the Appalachian Landscapes Protection Fund in 2021. Envisioned as an $18 million pooled philanthropic fund and initiated with seed capital from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, this first-of-its-kind effort aims to help Appalachian forests counter the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.
“Our forests and our future both depend on the continued protection of the Appalachian Mountains,” says Peter Howell, OSI executive vice president and head of its Conservation Capital program. “With this new fund, OSI continues to lead the way with innovative, science-based efforts to protect the places that will matter under a changing climate.”