Minnesota North Woods Carbon Partnership: Cass and Aitkin County Land Departments Case Study
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Minnesota North Woods Carbon Partnership: Cass and Aitkin County Land Departments Case Study

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Presentation by John Gunn, Senior Program Leader, Manomet CCenter for Conservation Sciences, at the Blandin Foundation sponsored Forest Values and Carbon Markets: Opportunities for Minnesota ...

Presentation by John Gunn, Senior Program Leader, Manomet CCenter for Conservation Sciences, at the Blandin Foundation sponsored Forest Values and Carbon Markets: Opportunities for Minnesota conference. February 25-26, 2009 at the Cloquet Forestry Center, Cloquet MN

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Minnesota North Woods Carbon Partnership: Cass and Aitkin County Land Departments Case Study Presentation Transcript

  • 1. John Gunn, Ph.D. Senior Program Leader Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences Brunswick, Maine 26 February 2008 06/08/09 Minnesota North Woods Carbon Partnership: Cass and Aitkin County Land Departments Case Study
  • 2. Project Intent
    • Understand the implications of Forest Carbon Offset Markets for managed forests in Minnesota
    • Create a structure to evaluate forest carbon stocks under existing Forest Carbon Offset Standards
    • Evaluate Potential of Payments for other Ecosystem Services in the North Woods
    • Today – present results for Aitkin and Cass County Land Department Forest Carbon Analysis under the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) and Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS)
  • 3. Carbon offset market landscape
    • Markets & Registries (Regulatory and Voluntary)
    • Standards, Protocols, & Rules
    • Primary Pathways Relevant to North American forest owners:
      • Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX)
      • California Climate Action Registry (CCAR)
      • Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS)
    06/08/09
  • 4. Basic Elements of the Major Forest Carbon Offset Standards 06/08/09 Standard Baseline Additionality Permanence CCX Base Year =Growth – Harvest 15 years VCS 5-10 Years Prior Practices Permanent CCAR Regulatory Practices Perm. Easement
  • 5.  
  • 6. CCX (a) vs. VCS (b) Additionality =“improved” forest management category
  • 7. Process
    • VCS
      • Derive VCS Baseline (BAU) from ACLD/CCLD Tactical Plans, and harvest and inventory data
      • Work with LDs to determine where opportunities exist for “improved forest management (IFM)” practices
      • Model impacts of management changes on carbon stocks
      • Calculate eligible carbon: Alternate IFM minus BAU residual carbon stocks
  • 8. Process
    • CCX
      • Evaluate growth models and inventory protocols (against CCX requirements) used to generate Baseline data and net growth calculations for CCX scenario
      • Determine eligible CO2e volume (above ground and live below ground net change converted to CO2 equivalent) in forest stands over time
  • 9. “ Improved” Forest Management Options
    • Extended rotation lengths (10-15 years)
      • Increase average stand age on landscape
      • Enhances structural complexity (larger and more debris associated with harvesting)
      • Reduces frequency of harvesting emissions through disturbance
    • Fuels reduction to minimize risk of catastrophic fire
    • Reduced Impact Logging
      • Minimize soil disturbance through shifting more harvests to frozen conditions
      • Minimize damage to residual stand (reduce mortality, maintain vigor)
  • 10. Management Options (cont.)
    • Create Late-Successional/Old-Growth reserves
      • Or reserves with other objectives
    • Increase stand-level retention practices (residual BA)
      • Patches or dispersed live trees (Legacies)
      • Dead standing, CWD
      • Increased riparian buffer widths
    • Reduce acreage of higher intensity silvicultural practices
  • 11.
  • 12.  
  • 13.  
  • 14. FVS Carbon Module
    • Carbon Submodel of the Fire and Fuels Extension
    • Lake States Variant (individual tree model) – approved by CCX
    • CSA GIS Inventory Data from CCLD and ACLD (used subset of 30% of total acreage in models)
    • Uses accepted forest carbon assumptions (Smith et al. 2006, Jenkins et al. 2003)
  • 15. FVS Fuels and Fire Extension – Carbon Submodel
    • Stand Carbon Stocks are calculated and reported for:
      • Total aboveground live C
      • Belowground live C
      • Standing Dead C
      • Down Dead C
      • Forest Floor C
      • Herbs and Shrubs C
      • Total Removed C
    • Disposition of Carbon in Harvested Wood Products
  • 16. Eligible Pools 06/08/09 Category Carbon Pool Above Ground: Living Tree biomass Shrubs and Herbaceous Understory Above Ground: Dead Standing Dead Coarse and Fine Woody Material Litter Below Ground Soil organic Live Roots Off-site Wood Products
  • 17. Mean Net Annual Change: ACLD = -63,717 MTC CCLD = -97,052 MTC
  • 18.
    • Summary of Annual Residual Live Carbon (aboveground and belowground) in BAU vs. Alternate (ALT) Harvest Scenarios
    6,685 (~1.5 MTC/ac./year) 51,947 45,262 CCLD 6,169 (~1.6 MTC/ac./year) 50,016 43,846 ACLD VCS Eligible Carbon ALT – BAU (MTC) ALT Residual Live Carbon Biomass (MTC) BAU Residual Live Carbon Biomass (MTC) County
  • 19. Eligible Carbon Summary NOTE: 1 MT Carbon =3.667 MTCO2 equivalent (MTCO2e) Source: US EPA $90,496 - $135,744 $98,064 – $147,096 ACLD Potential Revenue (annual) $4.00 - $6.00/ MTCO2e 6,169 MTC – or 22,624 MTCO2e NA -63,717 MTC or -233,650 MTCO2e ACLD 6,685 MTC – or 24,516 MTCO2e NA -97,052 MTC or -355,889 MTCO2e CCLD ACLD Eligible MTCO2e (annual) CCX Potential Revenue (annual) $2.00/ MTCO2e CCX Eligible MTCO2e (annual) County
  • 20. Notes on Results - CCX
    • Area Regulation (harvest target acres instead of target volume) for Desired Future Condition perhaps not suited for Base Year approach
    • Once age classes become more regulated, might be more opportunities for credit
  • 21. Notes on Results - VCS
    • Impact of modifying Residual Basal Area was minimal
    • The harvest intensity shift was conservative – but we now have a spreadsheet calculator tool to evaluate other scenarios
    • Carbon stocks within expected range (e.g., Smith et al. 2006)
    • ACLD and CCLD already practicing FSC-certified management – not much room to alter current practices
    • VCS is considering standards-based methodologies for IFM
  • 22. Next Steps
    • Evaluate Product Fate and Economic Impacts of Forgone Harvest
    • Refine Harvest Intensity Carbon Calculator for broader use
    • Final Report to discuss:
      • Leakage
      • Permanence Implications
      • Peatland Conservation Carbon Implications
      • Ecosystem Services Scoping (e.g., water, recreation)
  • 23. Acknowledgements
    • Blandin Foundation
    • Mark Jacobs, Norm Moody, Beth Jacqmain, Josh Stevenson
    • Dovetail Partners – Katie Fernholz
    • David Saah, Ph.D., Univ. of San Francisco