WoodsCamp Technologies, the Lunenburg company that helps woodlot owners manage their lands responsibly, has been acquired by Washington, D.C.-based American Forest Foundation for an undisclosed sum.

Co-founders Alastair Jarvis and Will Martin said in a statement Thursday that the company and its technology platform have been bought by the AFF, a conservation non-profit organization that specializes in family forests.

WoodsCamp and the AFF began working together last October and the American group has rolled out the WoodsCamp product in statewide programs in Alabama and Wisconsin. The AFF has now decided it needs the technology to ensure the proper management of family-owned forests.

“The leadership team at AFF recently concluded that technology must play a key role if they are to achieve their big hairy audacious vision,” said Jarvis in the statement. “Will and I recently concluded that we must establish a massive network of on-the-ground relationships to scale our technology and achieve our big hairy audacious vision.”

Jarvis and Martin set out three years ago to develop a platform to help private woodlot owners understand what trees are on their lands and harvest them responsibly. They understood that many privately owned woodlots have been handed down to descendants who now live in cities. These people want to preserve their lands but lack the expertise to work the land. WoodsCamp uses satellite imaging to tell them which species of trees grow on their land and help them plan a responsible process for harvesting.

In a phone interview Thursday, Jarvis said the company abandoned its plan to target the Nova Scotia market last year because of “turmoil” in the province’s forestry industry. He declined to provide specifics. The company began to focus on the U.S. and its work with the AFF.

WoodsCamp, which received investment from Innovacorp, now has a team of four working in its office in Lunenburg and Jarvis said the number of local staff will grow. Working with the AFF, they plan to continue rolling out the technology to a target of 30 states, which are selected based on the density of family-owned forests. Jarvis said there are four million private forest owners in the U.S.

As it switched its focus to the U.S., the company also began to place a greater emphasis on helping the property owners sustain their land.

“We pivoted a bit so our focus changed to conservation,” said Jarvis in the interview. “We focus more on connecting the landowner to programs and services that can help them maintain their properties.”

First, he said, the company helps landowners with programs and services for water supply, especially in the Western U.S. The goal is to help avoid catastrophic wildfires that can threaten not only forests but also water supply.

Second, the company works with landowners to preserve wildlife on their lands. This varies from region to region and includes an emphasis on at-risk species.

Finally, the company helps the landowners plan a sustainable harvesting of their wood, as WoodsCamp initially set out to do.

Said Jarvis: “Will and I are incredibly fortunate to be joining AFF at this stage, to be able to honour the support everyone has offered us up to this point, and to continue our work supported by the capacity and networks necessary to increase the health of our forests and the families who rely on them for present and future generations.”