Offset Projects 10 Jan 2020

Our Green Sources: A Birds of Prey Sanctuary

At Cloverly, we can help offset or avoid the carbon costs of everyday activities. (You can find details here.) To do that, we invest in a variety of green projects. Here’s a look at one of the offset projects in our portfolio: the Hawk Mountain Improved Forest Management Project in Drehersville, Pennsylvania.

Carbon offsets, Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), and Guarantees of Origin (GOs, the European version of RECs) compensate for carbon emissions by avoiding, offsetting, or sequestering the same amount of carbon elsewhere in the environment. Cloverly provides an easy way to make them available for everyday activities like ecommerce deliveries. This map shows our sources; for an interactive version, see cloverly.com/offset-map.

Not so long ago, Americans feared—even hated—raptors, also known as birds of prey. Stories abounded of hawks and eagles killing songbirds and other more “desirable” species, or carrying away livestock and even young children.

In reality, raptors seldom prey on livestock. Most of the time, they couldn’t even if they wanted to. A bald eagle, the largest US raptor, can fly away with an animal weighing up to 5 pounds or so, maybe, under ideal conditions. No one has ever reliably documented a child-snatching.

Bald eagle photo by Bill Moses

Nevertheless, even into the middle of the 20th century, state governments offered cash for killing birds of prey. In 1929, the Pennsylvania Game Commission paid a bounty of $5 (the equivalent of $75 today!) for each northern goshawk.

In 1931, an amateur ornithologist named Richard Pough photographed a slaughter of hawks by sport shooters at Hawk Mountain, near Drehersville in eastern Pennsylvania.

A New York conservation activist named Rosalie Edge saw the photos. In 1934, she leased 1,400 acres on Hawk Mountain. The next year, she opened Hawk Mountain Sanctuary to the public as the world’s first refuge for birds of prey.

Today, the sanctuary encompasses 2,600 acres and welcomes more than 60,000 visitors every year. It has recently taken steps to strengthen protections for the forest that constitutes the raptors’ home.

In 2018, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and The Nature Conservancy announced a partnership and placed most of the sanctuary’s land in a perpetual conservation easement.

Improved Forest Management

The sanctuary also established a carbon project that involves managing the forest for sustainability. Instead of harvesting timber, the sanctuary generates income through the sale of carbon credits. The improved forest management sequesters 45,000 metric tons (49,604 US tons) of carbon dioxide each year above the baseline level.

Bill Kunze, executive director for The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania, said that as the sanctuary continues to improve its forest management, income may increase as well.

“The net result is better-managed forest, more carbon sequestered, and greater incentive to protect land over the long term,” Kunze said, as quoted in a sanctuary news release.

Hawk Mountain President Sean Grace said, “Hawk Mountain sits on the Kittatinny Ridge, a globally significant migration superhighway. Our goal is to protect this international flyway and to guarantee that our refuge for raptors—and the people who enjoy it—stays forever wild.”

Cloverly customers can now purchase the offsets generated by this project and others through our Shopify and Magento apps for ecommerce stores, through custom ecommerce integrations, through our Slack app, and through our API. Learn more at cloverly.com.

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Carbon Neutral Shipping with Cloverly

Cloverly provides an easy way for ecommerce consumers to purchase carbon offsets and achieve carbon-neutral shipping for their orders, at no cost to the store owner. For details, visit our How It Works page. Shopify store owners can get our Shopify shipping app by clicking here. For our BigCommerce app, click here. If you have a Magento store, click here.

Cloverly Team