Featured Professional: Dylan Jenkins, ACF, CF, Finite Carbon, Vice President of Portfolio Development
Carbon Offsets Offer Potential New Revenue Stream for Forest Landowners
Forest management is an expensive proposition for forest landowners of all types and many are now considering forest carbon offsets as a new revenue stream on their sustainably managed forestlands. As the world’s largest compliance market for forest carbon offsets, US landowners are focused on California’s compliance offset market which requires 600 regulated entities in California to account for all greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) through 2020. As the world’s eighth largest economy and contributing two percent of global GHG emissions, California entities will demand approximately 180 million offsets through 2020. To date, over 40 million offsets have been produced, the majority from forest offset projects which currently sell above $10/offset.
Finite Carbon has been a leader in the California offset market since its inception and is now developing 30 improved forest management (IFM) projects for landowners from Maine to Washington state on over 1.7 million acres. Our clients are a cross-section of American forestry and include TIMOs, REITs, Native American tribes, and non-profits, most of whom actively manage their timberlands for a mix of conventional wood products and carbon offsets. Since registering California’s first compliance improved forest management (IFM) project in 2013, twelve of our projects have been completed and generated over $40 million in offset revenue. In exchange, landowners commit to maintain above regional average stocking levels and to practice sustainable forestry as defined by California’s compliance offset protocol for US forests.
California forest offset projects are complex and expensive. Therefore, our firm assists landowners to fully consider both long-term costs in addition to alignment of an owner’s current forest management practice with California’s offset project guidelines. If a project is economically feasible for development, a landowner usually works with a developer to manage their project through carbon inventory, growth and yield modeling, project documentation, independent verification, project registration, and offset sales. Some firms including our own cover all development expenses in exchange for a minority percent of the project offsets.
IN NMI’s service region, Finite Carbon is developing the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation IFM carbon offset project on over 450,000 acres of actively managed timberlands in Washington State. When completed next year, the Colville project will be the largest ever developed for the California compliance market. After a massive wildfire in fall 2015 and challenging weather conditions this spring, NMI provided full inventory services for the Colville project and completed the inventory on time and on budget.
For more information on the California carbon offset market and project development process, visit www.finitecarbon.com and www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/offsets/offsets.htm.