Climate Stability, Forest Ecology, and U.S. Public Lands Management

IT’S ABOUT TIME SOMEBODY IN AN “OFFICIAL” CAPACITY CALLED ATTENTION TO
THIS!! NOW LET’S SHUT ‘EM THE F*CK DOWN!!

REALITY: IT’S NOT JUST FOR RADIKALS ANYMORE…

ASW

—————————- Original Message —————————-
Subject: Cut US national forests, dump CO2 to the skies
From:    “Lance Olsen” <lance@wildrockies.org>
Date:    Fri, June 13, 2008 10:00 am
To:      “cmcr-outreach” <cmcr-outreach@vortex.wildrockies.org>
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This one’s of some interest for giving a glimpse into the climate
consequences of the 1980s trio of booms (in logging, lending and
construction) that led up to the notorious S&Ls scandals and its
threats to the U.S. financial system. As always, forests are a
leading economic indicator, but not always in the way its boosters
claim.
Lance

Forest Ecology and Management 255 (2008) 1122-1134

Public land, timber harvests, and climate mitigation: Quantifying
carbon sequestration potential on U.S. public timberlands

Brooks M. Depro , Brian C. Murray, Ralph J. Alig, Alyssa Shanks

Received 8 March 2007; received in revised form 9 October 2007;
accepted 10 October 2007

Abstract:
Scientists and policy makers have long recognized the role that
forests can play in countering the atmospheric buildup of carbon
dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas (GHG). In the United States,
terrestrial carbon sequestration in private and public forests
offsets approximately 11% of all GHG emissions from all sectors of
the economy on an annual basis. Although much of the attention on
forest carbon sequestration strategy in the United
States has been on the role of private lands, public forests in the
United States represent approximately 20% of the U.S. timberland area
and also hold a significantly large share (30%) of the U.S. timber
volume. With such a large standing timber inventory, these forested
lands have considerable impact on the U.S. forest carbon balance. To
help decision makers understand the carbon implications of potential
changes in public timberland management, we compared a baseline
timber harvest scenario with two alternative harvest scenarios and
estimated annual carbon stock changes associated with each. Our
analysis found that a ”no timber harvest” scenario eliminating
harvests on public lands would result in an annual increase of 17-29
million metric tonnes of carbon (MMTC) per year between 2010 and
2050-as much as a 43% increase over current sequestration levels on
public timberlands and would offset up to 1.5% of total U.S. GHG
emissions. In contrast, moving to a more intense harvesting policy
similar to that which prevailed in the 1980s may result in annual
carbon losses of 27-35 MMTC per year between 2010 and 2050. These
losses would represent a significant decline (50-80%) in anticipated
carbon sequestration associated with the existing timber harvest
policies. If carbon sequestration were valued in the marketplace as
part of a GHG offset program, the economic value of sequestered
carbon on public lands could be substantial relative to timber
harvest revenues.

Keywords: Public timberland; Forestry; Climate change; Carbon sequestration

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