Ecotrust Forest Management
Ecotrust Forest Management (EFM) manages land on behalf of investors and forestland owners to enhance forest health and productivity, and to produce a diverse array of forest products and services including timber, biomass, carbon, and improved habitat and water quality. EFM, a subsidiary of Ecotrust, is an FSC-certified resource manager and currently has 13,000 acres of forest under management in Oregon and Washington.
EFM seeks to capture a wide array of funding sources — New Market Tax Credits, carbon credits, conservation easements, and restoration funding — to supplement private capital resources in the acquisition and management of forestland. We also believe that creating reliable jobs for local residents and opportunities for local communities are fundamental elements of good forestry.
We believe that the value of a forest is not limited to its timber production, and that a forest is more than simply the sum of its trees. Our principles of forest management take into account the alternative sources of value each forest has to offer, whether in the form of carbon sequestration, water quality improvement, fish and wildlife habitat, or alternative forest products like salal (an understory shrub used in floral arrangements) in addition to managing for high-quality timber. We work to monetize these products, which gives us the flexibility to manage for an array of forest products and services, providing needed diversity and flexibility in today’s markets. Our aim is to provide a model of forest management that balances the financial goals of forest investors and landowners with the long-term health and vitality of the forest itself and the social needs of its surrounding community.
We believe our forest management strategies will significantly increase carbon stored in the trees and soils compared to the standard management regimes, as well as enhance biodiversity and water quality.
Our strategies include:
- Thinning to speed the development of older forest characteristics and to improve log quality;
- Identifying forest reserves to retain and enhance unusual forest types and features, or areas of high conservation value;
- Retaining 10-30% of trees in harvest units;
- Extending rotations;
- Enhancing species diversity and increasing the presence of under-represented but economically and ecologically valuable species such as western red cedar;
- Improving riparian management and habitat conditions for salmon and other aquatic species; and
- Fostering a multi-canopy, diverse forest (trees of different sizes, ages and species, as well as snags and downed logs), which creates habitat for a wide variety of species.
Bettina von Hagen Ecotrust Forest Management's Chief Executive Officer
Bettina helped launch Ecotrust Forests and joined EFM as CEO in 2008. Bettina has spent the past 15 years working to promote economic viability, social equity, and environmental health in the Pacific Northwest with a particular focus on forestry.
A former vice president of Ecotrust’s Natural Capital Fund and commercial banker, Bettina has over 20 years of experience in banking and fund management. She also has significant expertise in emerging markets in ecosystem services, particularly the forest carbon market, where she is involved in developing markets and protocols for high-quality forest carbon projects at the state, regional, and federal levels.
Previously, Bettina was Vice President at Ecotrust for forestry programs and for the Natural Capital Fund, a $26 million fund that invests in key businesses and initiatives in the conservation economy. Prior to joining Ecotrust in 1993, she was a vice president and commercial lender at First Interstate Bank of Oregon.
Bettina has an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA from the University of the Pacific. She currently serves on the boards of the Climate Trust, Forest Trends, and the VCS Association.