California's first forest carbon offset project under the California Compliance Offset Protocol developed for U.S. Forest Projects has been registered, marking a milestone in the statewide Cap-and-Trade Program. SCS Global Services verified that the Yurok Tribe/Forest Carbon Partners CKGG Improved Forest Management Project avoided more than 800,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (C02e) emissions from 2012 to 2013, the first California Air Resources Board (ARB)-issued forestry offset credits from a native compliance project, meaning that the project was developed from inception under ARB’s registry.
“The Yurok Tribe’s involvement in the first ARB compliance-grade carbon offset project shows leadership to other land managers across the state,” said Dr. Robert J. Hrubes, Executive Vice President at SCS Global Services. “The tandem economic and ecological benefits demonstrate that these projects can help communities on a local level while combatting climate change on a global level.”
The Yurok’s Improved Forest Management project encompasses 7,660 acres of Douglas-Fir and mixed hardwood forest in the Klamath Mountains of Northern California. By registering the project and selling carbon offsets in the California Cap-and-Trade system, the Yurok Tribe has made a legal commitment to maintain current forest carbon stocks, and to manage the forest sustainably for a mix of timber production and carbon sequestration for the next century. A significant revenue source for the Yurok Tribe, the project will protect the forest for future generations and support the Tribe’s continued management of its ancestral homeland. The land has been managed for timber production since the Gold Rush. Participation in California’s carbon market has raised the profile of the region’s longstanding emphasis on conservation. This project will help reduce runoff that adversely affects salmon populations.
“We have lost most of our old trees due to historical logging practices, and whole ecosystems are barely functioning as a result,” said Thomas P. O’Rourke, Sr., Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “This forest carbon project enables the Tribe to help transition these 7,660 acres back into a tribally managed natural forest system where wildlife and cultural resources like tanoak acorns, huckleberry, and hundreds of medicinal plants will thrive.”
“With the successful registration of the Yurok Project, we are demonstrating that the rigorous California compliance offset protocol can deliver real financial and environmental benefits to forest landowners in California and across the nation,” said Brian Shillinglaw, Manager of Carbon Investments & Policy at New Forests LLC. The project is one of six forest carbon offset projects developed by New Forests LLC for the California carbon market.
Under the California Cap-and-Trade system, companies can meet up to eight percent of their mandated greenhouse gas emissions reduction obligations by purchasing compliance offsets. All ARB carbon offset projects must be evaluated by an accredited, third-party verification body, such as SCS, which verified the first voluntary forest carbon offset projects in 2007 and has since performed ARB verifications for several early action offset projects.
About SCS Global Services
SCS Global Services has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for three decades. Programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in forestry and land use, green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, and more. SCS is accredited to provide carbon offset verification under a multitude of globally-recognized standards, including VCS, CCB, ACR and CAR since its inception in 2007. www.scsglobalservices.com