Preserving the Beauty of our Forests

Long-term protection of a tree farm is a win-win for one Tennessee family and the environment

The Cumberland Plateau of Central Tennessee is home to picturesque vistas, winding rivers and trees of all different ages and sizes. Rebecca Tuuk of Shafer-Tuuk Tree Farm knows the area well. As a child, she loved spending time walking through the woods with her dad, who passed his reverence for nature and conservation on to her.

“He taught us to think about the environment and how we need to protect it...not just for the good of this property, but because everyone in the world needs to protect the environment or we won’t have a world,” said Tuuk.

In partnership with The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund, Capital One has provided funding to secure the long-term protection of the Shafer-Tuuk Tree Farm to shield it from the risk of development and to help ensure it remains a forest forever.

The effort is an extension of Capital One’s commitment to sustainable paper practices, designed to have an on-the- ground impact in securing the health and longevity of U.S. forest land.

“Capital One had made great progress in increasing the amount of recycled and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper it was sourcing, but they came to us and said, ‘we’d like to do more,’” explains Linda Walker, Director of Responsible Forestry and Trade.

Walker credits Capital One for recognizing that to have a meaningful and lasting impact on the environment, companies must prioritize more than operational sustainability alone.

“If companies just focus on their supply chain and everything is cleared and gets destroyed around them, there’s not going to be enough supply for them in the future,” said Walker.

For Tuuk and her family, the partnership has been a true win-win. It not only boosts her bottom line and protects the environment, but also helps ensure the beauty of her family’s land for generations to come.

“My vision of this land, my hope for this land in the future,
is that we have a lot of very good trees, the trees grow well and they grow big, and so we always enjoy looking at that as we’re walking through the woods,” she said.

Trish Johnson, Director of Forest Conversation, The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee, shares Tuuk’s vision. “I fully expect to be able to come and walk through these trees in the future. It’ll be special because I know about all of the hard work and partners that came together 30 years prior, to help make that forest still be a forest.”

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