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Is a Forest Carbon Project a Fit for Your Forest?

Published: November 8, 2023 by Editorial Team

As a landowner or land manager with an active timber management program, you may be wondering, how can an Improved Forest Management (IFM) carbon project work for me? The answer, probably very well!

We demand more from our forests each year, whether it’s from recreational usage, wildlife habitat creation, watershed protection, or climate resilience.  Another constant demand on our forests is for consistent revenue. Typically, this has only been accomplished by harvesting timber.  However, an IFM project can provide the public or private landowner with a steady stream of carbon-based revenue over the next 20+ years.  This additional stream of revenue allows the forester or forest owner to supplement their current management techniques to sequester more carbon while reducing the need to rely purely on timber production. Some of the forest management actions used to increase carbon storage would be to extend rotation lengths,  increase riparian buffer zones, and retain more wildlife trees during harvests (commonly known as green tree retention).  Instead of chasing revenue in a forest stand of marginal timber value, one that may have low vigor or quality, the land manager can choose to allow that stand to grow and continue to sequester additional carbon, and generate carbon revenues, well into the future. Ultimately, an IFM project is providing an additional forest product with an environmental and economic benefit.

IFM projects can easily co-exist with and improve active timber management programs by including carbon sequestration as a land management objective.  At The Climate Trust, we work closely with our partner landowners to design a project that puts their forest and their management goals first.