Woodlots store carbon

Forest landowners are starting to earn cash for carbon.

“As Arctic ice thins, sea levels rise and glaciers recede, Ken Faulk takes stock of his trees in the Oregon Coast Range. Last summer, he began measuring his stands of Douglas fir and white oak by pounding plastic pipes into the ground to mark the centers of circles nearly 30 feet across. Working steadily in the soft twilight under the forest canopy, he recorded the height and diameter of every tree in each circle. It took him five days to cover 40 acres, but Faulk didn’t mind. He regards trees with the experienced eye of a man who loves the woods. ‘I saw old friends I hadn’t seen in a long time, trees I remembered, that I had taken an interest in. It was of value to me for that alone,’ he says.

Thus starts the cover story in the winter 2010 Terra magazine about one man’s mission to recognize Oregon’s woodlot owners for managing their land for maximum carbon absorption. Faulk is working with Oregon State University Extension and forestry scientists who are leading international research programs on forest carbon.

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