FOREST CARBON PROJECT:
ITS GOALS AND METHODOLOGY
To be used by land trusts and landowners to actualize the maximum ability of their forest holdings to capture and store greenhouse gases and mitigate the effects of climate change.
To most effectively engage in this project, it would be necessary first to:
1. Ensure accurate mapping and boundary markings of your land trust’s property.
2. With the help of a forest ecologist:
- Determine areas not to be cut at all;
- Identify individual trees in stands that could get cut;
- Mark those specific trees that should never be cut but should be left to grow old, die, fall down, and rot.
3. With the support of Low Impact Forestry (LIF), develop a management plan that avoids damaging residual trees by minimizing the width and distribution of logging trails. By minimizing the area in trails, the landowner maximizes the area for trees to grow and minimizes forest soil disturbance. What LIF will be teaching will be oriented more towards the quality of what is left behind, rather than the quantity (or market value) of what is cut.
In terms of management goals, the aim will be to increasing the average size, volume, quality, and diversity of the residual forest landscape. The cut will be much lower than growth. The average volume of trees per acre before the cut will be much higher than what is commonly the case now in Maine, and the remaining volume of trees after the cut will also be much higher than what is commonly the case in Maine.
By bringing the average volume per acre much higher than the state average and by setting out stands that are not going to be cut at all, the landowner will be increasing carbon sequestration, benefiting biodiversity (by having a higher percentage of older stands, which in Maine are under-represented), and improving aesthetic and recreational opportunities (logging trails can be used by people on foot or on skis).
FMI, email the Francis Small Heritage Trust, Inc.: mail@FSHT.org
Looking for the Carbon Calculator? You can find it here.