American Carbon Registry Approves U.S. Family Forests Offset Methodology
ARLINGTON, Va., October 5, 2011 – The American Carbon Registry (ACR), a nonprofit enterprise of Winrock International, announces approval of an Improved Forest Management (IFM) Methodology for Quantifying Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Removals and Emission Reductions through Increased Forest Carbon Sequestration on Non-Federal U.S. Forestlands. The methodology, developed by Columbia Carbon LLC, a subsidiary of CE2 Carbon Capital in partnership with L&C Carbon, targets non-federally owned forestlands in the United States. Eligible lands include 495 million acres – 66 percent of all U.S. forestlands.
The new methodology delivers enormous potential for family forest owners who manage 264 million acres, or 35 percent, of all U.S. forestland. No family forests are currently registered and verified under any of the leading registry standards in the U.S. The lack of family forest offset projects is due to the fact that existing published IFM methodologies are either not applicable or not practical for this significant category of private forest owners, who own more forest land than the federal government. The new methodology provides important access to the carbon market to help slow the conversion of private forests to other uses. The USDA Forest Service estimates that from 20002030, more than 57 million acres of private forestland could be affected by development. State and local forest lands are also eligible under the methodology as are tribal lands, except those managed or administered by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The tribal lands eligibility will be expanded to U.S. tribal lands under BIA in a forthcoming ACR methodology.
“The Columbia Carbon IFM methodology offers a significant opportunity for families owning woodlands to be rewarded for growing trees and storing greater amounts of carbon on their property,” stated David Ford, president and CEO of L&C Carbon. “And access to carbon markets for non-federal public lands provides an incentive for these owners to finance emissions reduction projects. We found ACR’s team to be professional and efficient, and its process to be thorough and scientifically demanding. The end result is a methodology that addresses the economic realities of a wide range of land owners, while achieving high environmental standards.”
“The opportunity to generate some annual income by storing more carbon on my land is very attractive,” said Ed Cummings, a small woodland owner near Eugene, Ore. “My family wants to be able to pass on our sustainably managed woodlands to the next generation and selling carbon from our lands will help us meet our goal.”
To qualify for registration, lands must be subject to commercial timber harvesting activities under a forest management plan, and landowners must make a long-term commitment to manage their properties to sequester carbon above and beyond what would normally occur under the owner’s baseline forest management practices. In addition, the methodology requires certification by American Tree Farm System® (ATFS), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for private, NGO and public lands. Alternatively, public lands can provide a government-sanctioned forest management plan, updated at a minimum of every 10 years.
“We are excited to announce approval of the Columbia Carbon IFM methodology,” said Nicholas Martin, ACR’s chief technical officer. “It fills an important gap, providing a foundation for a new class of forest carbon market participants. We expect the resulting offset projects to be very popular in the voluntary market, where buyers favor high quality carbon offsets with a compelling story, such as those that manage, protect and replant forests.”
About the American Carbon Registry
The nonprofit American Carbon Registry (ACR), an enterprise of Winrock International, is a leading carbon offset program recognized for its strong standards for environmental integrity. Founded in 1996 as the first private voluntary registry in the world, ACR has 15 years of experience in the development of rigorous, science-based carbon offset standards and methodologies as well as in carbon offset issuance, serialization and transparent online transaction and retirement reporting.
About Columbia Carbon, LLC
Columbia Carbon is a joint project between L&C Carbon LLC and CE2 Carbon Capital focused on developing forest carbon projects in the United States. The partners have an extensive background in carbon project development, marketing and carbon credit monetization.
About L&C Carbon LLC
L&C Carbon is a forest carbon project development company based in Salem, Ore. Founded in 2010, its initial focus is on developing forest carbon projects within the United States. L&C Carbon works to connect landowners with a carbon program that is consistent with their values and forest management objectives. It strives to develop long-term partnerships with landowners and organizations rather than executing one-off carbon projects. L&C Carbon’s longer-term vision is to develop diverse income streams for landowners from a range of ecosystem services.
About CE2 Carbon Capital, LLC
Formed in 2008 by CE2 Capital Partners and Energy Capital Partners, CE2 Carbon Capital, LLC is a company dedicated to building a portfolio of carbon offsets and other assets focused on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in North America.
Mary Grady, American Carbon Registry
Tel: (805) 884-1961
David Ford, L&C Carbon LLC
Tel: (503) 345-9777