2016-09-26. How Small Forests Can Help Save the Planet.

posted Sep 28, 2016, 7:00 AM by Alan Gould
By  Erica Goode, The New York Times. For GSS A New World View chapter 6 and Climate Change Chapter 10. Excerpt: BIRKENFELD, Ore. — Eve Lonnquist’s family has owned a forest in the mountains of northwest Oregon since her grandmother bought the land in 1919. ...lately, Ms. Lonnquist, 59 and recently retired, has been thinking about the future of her family’s land. Like many small-forest owners, they draw some income from logging and would like to keep doing so. But they would also like to see the forest, with its stands of Douglas fir, alder and cherry, protected from clear-cutting or being sold off to developers. ...More than half of the 751 million acres of forestland in the United States are privately owned, most by people like Ms. Lonnquist, with holdings of 1,000 acres or less. These family forests, environmental groups argue, represent a large, untapped resource for combating the effects of climate change. Conserving the trees and profiting from them might seem incompatible. But Ms. Lonnquist is hoping to do both by capitalizing on the forest’s ability to clean the air, turning the carbon stored in the forest into credits that can then be sold to polluters who want or need to offset their carbon footprints. ...Larger forests around the world have already been enlisted as carbon storehouses, through programs like the United Nations initiative for Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD.... Some large timber companies, including Potlatch, have also entered the markets, reducing their logging to levels below legal limits in order to receive millions of dollars in credits. ...But so far, small-forest owners, even conservation-minded ones like Ms. Lonnquist, have not rushed to embrace market-based carbon storage. Many do not even know it exists, and those who do often find the complexities bewildering....  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/27/science/private-forests-global-warming.html