It’s like I don’t have enough paperwork in my life, I go looking for more to keep me busy. Over the winter months we have been looking into programs that we can implement on the farm for our goals concerning conservation and stewardship.
It started with a call to our local branch of the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). A program is in the process of being designed regarding carbon credits. In essence, those who use carbon pay for those who store carbon.
Forests and trees in particular store carbon as they grow, this would be referred to as carbon credit. Businesses that use carbon in the form of fossil fuels could off-set their usage by paying a fee to those who store carbon. If you have flown on a commercial flight in the last couple of years, you have already been paying that fee to the airline to purchase carbon credit.
There are a lot of steps to the process for being certified. Since our first connection with the USDA, we have had several visits to our timber acreage from The Pinchot Institute( a non-profit designed to assist tree farmers with carbon capture projects) and from the local Land and Water Conservation District about the possibility of our forest land becoming an official carbon reservoir.
Through the discussion portion of carbon capture program, we have learned more about the abilities of our timber ground. Older timber, between 30 and 130 years old are needed in a stand to be viable candidates for this program. We only have a few trees over 100 years old, but several areas where the minimum age of 30 years has been well established.
We have been approved to move to the next level and will soon have an on-site evaluation that measures the tree stand and the amount of carbon credits that we can be storing on the property. You will be hearing more about drones, GPS, navigation and calculations as we go farther into this process.
In the meantime, I have more forms to fill out…