Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Generating Carbon Credits Under Different Forest Management Practices in Ponderosa Pine Ecosystems in Wyoming.

Amitava Chatterjee1, Sian Mooney1, Daniel B. Tinker1, George F. Vance1, James Arnold2, Bill Haggenson2, and Peter D. Stahl1. (1) Univ of Wyoming, 1451 N 5th St, Laramie, WY 82072, (2) Wyoming State Forestry Division, 122 W 25th St, Herschler Bldg 3W, Cheyenne, WY 82002

Increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) are thought to lead to climate change and have spawned national and international policies to slow down the rate of CO2 emissions. Forests can play a role in reducing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 as they are a global C sink. The stock of C sequestered in the standing forest and its soils increases with increasing forest biomass over time. Old growth forests, which may have large stocks of C, may exhibit reduced C sequestration rates since net biomass growth is modest or negligible. In contrast, a young forest may have a relatively modest stock of C due to its small total biomass, but these ecosystems sequester C at a fast rate due to rapid growth of juvenile trees. There has been considerable interest in using economic incentives to reduce atmospheric concentrations of CO2 through the development of a C-credits market. If changes in forest management can generate C credits at a cost competitive with credits from other sectors of the economy this could present a new opportunity for selling an additional commodity from Wyoming's forests. This study examines the economic costs of creating C credits using a range of different forest management practices in ponderosa and lodgepole pine ecosystems in Wyoming. The C sequestration potential of four management practices (control, uneven aged, even aged and heavy harvest) were calculated for a ponderosa pine ecosystem.  These results will be combined with cost and return data for each management practice to evaluate the economic costs of creating C credits using each management type.

Handout (.ppt format, 913.0 kb)