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ACR Publishes New Methodology for Improved Forest Management on Small Non-Industrial Private U.S. Forestlands

LITTLE ROCK, AR,  September 29, 2021 - The American Carbon Registry (ACR), a nonprofit enterprise of Winrock International, has approved a  Methodology for the Quantification, Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions and Removals from Improved Forest Management on Small Non-Industrial Private Forestlands.

The methodology quantifies greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions and removals resulting from improved forest management (IFM) activities on aggregated ownerships of non-industrial private forestlands, ranging from 40–5,000 forested acres. Emission reductions are quantified from forest carbon projects that exceed baseline forest management practices, and removals are quantified for retention of annual forest growth. The primary carbon sequestration mechanism is the commitment to forego harvesting, grow trees longer and increase forest stocking.

A commitment to the long-term objectives of this methodology, especially those which persist as land transfers ownership, presents a new and sorely needed opportunity for small landowners to both benefit from an additional revenue stream associated with carbon sequestration and to help combat climate change. The opportunity to enroll in a carbon project under this methodology also incentivizes long-term, sustainable forest management practices that provide significant co-benefits such as habitat and water protection, improved soil health, and recreation,” said Jessica Orrego, ACR Director of Forestry. 

Despite owning nearly 40% of U.S. forestlands, less than 1% of small forest ownerships have enrolled in the carbon market to date. This is due to known financial and institutional barriers associated with the scale and complexity of the existing market.

This methodology, developed in partnership with Finite Carbon and ACR, includes innovative aggregation, monitoring, and verification approaches that create efficiencies and streamlined processes to alleviate market entry barriers and incentivize climate action by small landowners.

With this methodology, we can empower private owners of forested land to access, create, and manage their carbon offsets on a single platform. With the American Carbon Registry’s fully transparent registry system and scientifically rigorous carbon accounting standards, we’re thrilled to be able to offer small landowners new opportunities to benefit from sustainable stewardship, just as large landowners have done for years, while protecting our natural resources for future generations,” said Sean Carney, CEO of Finite Carbon.

As a pioneer in harnessing the power of markets to improve the environment, ACR has set the bar for offset quality and continues to lead in innovation. All methodologies follow a rigorous process for approval including a public stakeholder consultation and a blind scientific peer-review.