ofi employees participate in the "Forest to Farm" project

Recently, ofi employees joined the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (Sierra National Forest), the National Forest Foundation and Knorr, a Unilever brand, for a day of service at the Sierra National Forest in California to clear encroaching conifers from a meadow in the Pine Flats Watershed to help restore an area that supplies roughly 50% of the water to San Joaquin Valley – California’s top producing agricultural region. 

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The paternship:

This public/private sector partnership is embarking on a series of climate action and regenerative agricultural projects focused on improving the health and resilience of forested watershed, reduce the potential impact of severe wildfire in the Sierra National Forest, and will also positively impact farmers in the San Joaquin Valley agricultural growing region.


These initiatives directly address known problems with conifer encroachment on historically open meadows and will also use a series of controlled burns to help maintain ideal vegetation conditions for adequate water drainage and CO2 absorption. Meadow restoration in the Pine Flats Watershed improves water availability and quality through increased storage and flows during dry summer months.

The outcome:

The continued land restoration projects within this partnership will build more resilient natural ecosystems and support local growing communities. Combined, these projects are expected to:   

  • Replenish over 660 million gallons of water in the Sierra National Forest. 
  • Reduce CO2 by 80,000 metric tons by restoring meadow health so that they can retain soil organic carbon. 
  • Restore 2,100 acres of forest through improved forest management in critical water basins.

Hear from Dean Gould, Forest Supervisor of the Sierra National Forest for the US Forest Service, who attended this event:

“To be able to meet our mission of providing sustainable resources for present and future generations, in response to unprecedented tree mortality, fire and storm damage on the Sierra, clearly, we have to adopt a very different business model compared to past practices.  Our partnership with ofi, NFF and Unilever (through the Knorr brand) is a perfect example of precisely the way we need to meet the needs of the Forest landscape, through shared stewardship.  This project and partnership cast a spotlight on the inseparable link between a healthy Sierra National Forest and the vitality of the San Joaquin Valley, to fulfill its global role.”

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