CSAA Insurance Group, an AAA insurer, joins a small group of private financiers to invest in a new Forest Resilience Bond that funds the upfront costs of forest restoration, while earning investors returns from the multiple agencies that benefit from the mitigation work. Investments in such projects are critical in addressing the growing risks of wildfires associated with climate change and its impacts forests. CSAA joined The Rockefeller Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Calvert Impact Capital in providing a combined $4 million in private capital to fund a pilot project aimed at improving forest management in 15,000 acres of the North Yuba River area of Tahoe National Forest.
The National Forest Foundation will lead the forest management work on the ground: managing invasive plants, cutting down small trees, clearing out shrubs, and burning off ground cover that can fuel wildland fires, for example. Healthier, thinner forests reduce the risk of severe fires, improve watershed health, and protect water resources. “Investing in healthy forests is good for the state, good for AAA members, and good for us as an insurer with thousands of customers living in areas at risk of wildfires and other disasters,” said Linc Walworth, vice president of investments at CSAA Insurance Group. “We earn a good return while helping the environment and our customers. What a great combination in a single investment.”