Washington State to preserve 10,000 forest acres as carbon reserve

According to reports from the Seattle Times, Washington state has launched a program directed at saving 10,000 acres of forest land to use as a carbon reserve, and the program will lease the trees as carbon credits to greenhouse gas emitters.

The state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is set to partner with Finite Carbon, which is a developer and supplier of carbon offsets, to verify the effectiveness of those offsets.

Purchasers are anticipated to be larger corporations looking to achieve reductions in their carbon emissions, according to the Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, who added that in the first decade of the program, the DNR is hoping to sell 900,000 credits reducing carbon emissions to the atmosphere by an amount equivalent to 2 billion vehicle miles traveled. 

Money obtained from those leases in the forests would compensate the beneficiaries of state trust lands, including the state school construction fund, as well as money for hospital districts, library districts, and others.

In addition to the DNR-managed trust land, which includes 840,000 acres, which is designated for conservation, the 10,000-acre carbon reserve adds additional acreage that will be off-limits to harvest. 

According to Franz, sequestering carbon dioxide, which is a heat-trapping gas, in trees that use it as food to grow, helps soften the most damaging effects of global climate change. Around the world, forests absorb roughly one-third of all the carbon emissions yearly from the burning of fossil fuels.

“I have a big belief that with climate change here, we need to save our forests to truly save ourselves,” Franz added. 




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