first forest landowner enrolls in carbon credit program
Jack Stickney knows his 100-acre woodland farm in Estill County, Kentucky, is worth more than money. There’s also value in the clean air and water, wildlife habitat and erosion control it provides.
Stickney will soon be earning revenue for the added value of his land as the first forest landowner to enroll in MACED’s new carbon credit program, which launched in June 2007. The program is part of MACED’s Forest Opportunities Initiative, which has the goal of creating sustainably managed working forests that generate income to landowners while enhancing the forest health.
“Right away I thought it was a great idea, mainly to get people to manage their woodlands sustainably,” said Stickney.
MACED is partnering with landowners to help them sell carbon credits on a newly emerging market. Trees naturally remove pollutants, particularly carbon dioxide, from the atmosphere. Trees act like a giant sponge by pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and storing it in their woody trunk, branches and roots. A market has been set up for landowners to receive payments for the carbon their trees store.
“If there is a chance it will work I am all about trying it,” said Stickney. “If it does work it will mean more people managing their woodlands. More management means more woodlands people at work, such as loggers and ban saw operators. It also means better forests for wildlife, water and air quality.”
Program requirements include a stewardship plan, a forest inventory and forest certification, all performed by a professionally trained third party. Forest landowners like Stickney see these requirements as benefits. “The criteria, like the management plan and inventory, are basic critical tools needed to understand woodlands and make good management decisions.”
MACED is the only organization in Kentucky certified to represent Appalachian forest landowners interested in selling carbon credits produced by their forests. MACED provides financial assistance, forestry consultation and educational outreach to landowners enrolled in the program. As of August 2007, nine landowners had applied to the program representing a total of 7,700 acres. The number continues to grow everyday.
Landowners interested in learning more about MACED’s program are invited to call toll free 1-888-677-2373 or click here to learn more.