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Climate & Energy
Water
Forests
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Carbon Forestry Workshop
Camp Adams
Molalla, Oregon
May 6, 2017


Josh Fain (Pinchot Institute for Conservation) speaking about the forest carbon cycle
Download the Workshop Agenda

Download the Pinchot Institute's Presentation

Download Forest Carbon Works' Presentation





Session 1. Forest Carbon, Carbon Markets, and Landowner Assistance


The workshop began with classroom presentations covering the basics of the carbon cycle and the role that forests play both at the national and regional level. Nationally, forests offset or ‘absorb’ about 11% of annual emissions in the U.S. Research has demonstrated the potential to significantly increase this percentage through improved forest management, reforestation, afforestation, and improved forest health. Nationally, forests are declining as a carbon sink due to a combination of stressors associated with climate change.

The Coastal Range and West-Cascade regions of Oregon and Washington have some of the highest carbon potential of any ecosystem in the country. Studies indicate that average carbon accumulation in Oregon’s Coast Range is about 43% of ecosystem potential. Using improved or ecological forestry practices could close this gap, bring regional forest closer to their full carbon potential while also achieving other landowner values such as wildlife habitat, recreation, aesthetics, water-quality, and overall forest health. Tree biomass is roughly 50% carbon. Each ton of carbon stored in a tree offsets 3.667 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, or CO2E.

Workshop participants discussed carbon accounting methods, how it relates to overall timber volume, and how one might balance sustainable harvesting and carbon objectives. The NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program “Unlocking Carbon Markets for Family Landowners” was discussed as a possible assistance program, as well as Oregon Department of Forestry, OSU Extension, and the Northwest Natural Resources Group.

Session 2. Ecological Forestry in Practice

Barry Sims (Trout Mountain Forestry) explaining forest management activities being used at Camp Adams The workshop then moved out into the mature forests at Camp Adams, where participants observed some of the recent forest management activities undertaken by Trout Mountain Forestry. Barry Sims (Trout Mountain Forestry) and Glenn Ahrens (OSU Extension) explained stand dynamics on this site and how landowner objectives influenced harvesting strategies and tactics. Barry Sims also explained how low-impact harvesting could minimize impacts to remaining forest resources and improve overall forest vigor and health. Swiss needle cast and other issues of forest health were discussed.

An important ‘take-away’ from this and prior session is that healthy, vigorous forests are best suited to address the challenges of climate change both from adaptation and mitigation standpoints. Healthy trees are best positioned to withstand attacks from increased insects or stress from drought. Faster growing, healthier trees will also continue to sequester more carbon into the future. Achieving long-term forest management goals and objectives may involve management and harvesting in the short-term.

Session 3. Forest Carbon Inventory

Carbon dense old-growth Douglas fir forest Representatives from Ecopartners reviewed their Forest Carbon Works program and the requirements of carbon inventories in the carbon market. Forest Carbon Works’ carbon measurement tool was introduced and participants were given the opportunity to collect sample inventory data in the field.

The workshop concluded with a review of a side-by-side comparison of a carbon inventory at Camp Adams completed by Trout Mountain Forestry using traditional forestry sampling methods and an inventory completed using Forest Carbon Works’ system. Participants discussed why the results may have differed, the need for collecting accurate carbon data, and the importance of integrating all types of forest information--timber, carbon, and other inventory--into decision support tools designed to best achieve landowner objectives.




Images from the workshop (click any to enlarge):
Restoring ecologically important oak habitat by removing coniferous trees and thereby reducing carbon storedEvaluating new technology for carbon inventoryEvaluating new technology for carbon inventory



 
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