Hot Topic – Carbon Credits and Forestland

As energy costs soar and corporate America seeks ways to minimize their carbon footprint, added attention is being paid to the value of forestland as carbon storage.  Through a complicated process, the value and amount of the extra carbon storage is calculated and then sold on the market to companies that release carbon into the atmosphere.  A plethora of firms including Microsoft, Amazon, and Ford Motor Company have participated.  Many forest-related carbon sequestration programs have come and gone over the years.  Most have involved a landowner being paid to delay or minimize timber harvests on their property for a prolonged period (20, 50 or 100 years), required minimum acreage size, and often they involved upfront costs. 

But a new program, NCX (National Capital Exchange), has entered the picture.  This is a unique option because it only requires a one-year commitment, has no acreage minimum and does not involve out-of-pocket money from the landowner.  If a landowner chooses to participate, they must enroll all their ownership in the program, and timber harvesting is permitted; however, compensation may be significantly reduced if you do log.  Landowner payment occurs at the end of the one-year cycle.  Of course, there are many other facets to the NCX program, this is just a brief overview.

Inland Forest Management, Inc. is very engaged in this opportunity and we feel it is a great option to consider for many landowners.  Like many, we have questions about the carbon credit compensation calculation regarding forests, but in terms of benefits to the appropriate landowner, it seems like a no-brainer.  If you are interested in learning more about this program, please feel free to contact our office. 

Mike Wolcott