The Consultant - 2018 - 22

FEATURE

CARBON OFFSETS
A Viable Opportunity for Forest Landowners?

DYLAN H. JENKINS, ACF, CF
THE DECARBONIZING GLOBAL MARKET
The global marketplace is decarbonizing. Decreasing costs and
rapidly growing demand for wind and solar energy, electric
vehicles, renewable biofuels, cellulosic nanomaterials and engineered wood products are lasting trends and highlight the vital
role of forests and forest products in reducing greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions from human activity. However, GHG emissions
are still rising in several of the world's largest countries and the
transition to a low carbon economy will take decades. During
that transition, voluntary and regulatory efforts to place a price
on carbon emissions are an important part of the overall strategy
to curb GHGs, and to spur innovation in low-carbon energy and
products. The recognition of the environmental and social costs
of GHG emissions and internalization of these costs into the
production of energy and products has created a significant but
momentary economic opportunity for some forest landowners.
In the 2013 issue of The Consultant, we posed the question of
whether U.S. forest landowners had a viable path to the domestic
forest carbon market. At the time, the voluntary forest offset
market in the U.S. was relatively quiet after the demise of the
voluntary Chicago Climate Exchange GHG trading system in
2010 and the delayed launch of California's GHG emissions
trading program, aka Cap-and-Trade (C&T). Since that time,
more than six million acres of U.S. forest have been listed for
development as forest carbon offset projects under California's
C&T program. And to date, nearly 60 million forest offsets worth
more than $500 million have been issued by California's Air
Resources Board (ARB).
Forest landowners have received most of this revenue from
carbon offsets created on their sustainably managed forests.
22

While scores of private forest owners of all types, i.e., non-profit,
family, tribe, corporate, TIMO and REIT, across all regions of
the U.S. have benefited from this new forest product, wouldbe participants still face headwinds in successfully navigating an ever-changing market for compliance offsets. With the
assistance of their consulting foresters, many landowners are
overcoming the barriers to access this potentially significant
source of forest product revenue. The larger questions today
are: Does the compliance offset market have staying power and
should forest landowners participate?

FOREST CARBON OFFSETS DEFINED
Regarding a property's carbon performance and revenue potential, forest carbon offsets are fundamentally a forest product.
Carbon offset production is a function of the same abiotic,
biotic and managerial factors that influence conventional wood
product flow and value: climate, geography, length of growing
season, soil fertility, species mix, genetics and harvest regime.
However, forest carbon markets and offsets are distinct from
conventional forest product markets in two important ways.
First, unlike conventional wood product markets that are supported by the invisible hand of global demand from billions
of consumers, offsets only exist in the context of either a selfimposed (voluntary) or government imposed (regulatory or
compliance) framework that caps and places a cost on GHG
emissions. In a compliance framework, this GHG emissions cap
is imposed on either a specific economic sector, as is the case of
the Northeast's Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative on fossil fuel
based electricity generation across nine Northeastern states, or
across an entire jurisdiction's economy, i.e., on manufacturers,
THE CONSULTANT

2018



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Consultant - 2018

From the Executive Director End Notes
From the President ACF: Forestry, Fellowship and Value
Sharing the Stories of the Trees: ACF Distinguished Forester Jim Able
Maple Syrup: A Steigerwaldt Family Tradition
The South Carolina Chapter and Forestry Students
The Association of Consulting Foresters Celebrates 70 Years
Carbon Offsets: A Viable Opportunity for Forest Landowners?
Changes of Biblical Proportions
Forests for Fish In Michigan, Foresters and Anglers are Learning from Each Other
Case Study: Richland Township Woods, North Central Indiana
Invasive Species 101
Evaluating Forest Inventory Technology for Small Landowners
Choosing the Right Accountant or Tax Preparer
The History of Forestry in Ireland
The American Oak Project Midleton Distillery Creates Rare Irish Whiskey to Promote Sustainable Forestry
Products & Services Marketplace
Index of Advertisers
Why not Surround Yourself with the Best?
The Consultant - 2018 - Intro
The Consultant - 2018 - cover1
The Consultant - 2018 - cover2
The Consultant - 2018 - 3
The Consultant - 2018 - 4
The Consultant - 2018 - 5
The Consultant - 2018 - From the Executive Director End Notes
The Consultant - 2018 - From the President ACF: Forestry, Fellowship and Value
The Consultant - 2018 - Sharing the Stories of the Trees: ACF Distinguished Forester Jim Able
The Consultant - 2018 - 9
The Consultant - 2018 - 10
The Consultant - 2018 - 11
The Consultant - 2018 - Maple Syrup: A Steigerwaldt Family Tradition
The Consultant - 2018 - 13
The Consultant - 2018 - 14
The Consultant - 2018 - 15
The Consultant - 2018 - The South Carolina Chapter and Forestry Students
The Consultant - 2018 - 17
The Consultant - 2018 - 18
The Consultant - 2018 - 19
The Consultant - 2018 - The Association of Consulting Foresters Celebrates 70 Years
The Consultant - 2018 - 21
The Consultant - 2018 - Carbon Offsets: A Viable Opportunity for Forest Landowners?
The Consultant - 2018 - 23
The Consultant - 2018 - 24
The Consultant - 2018 - 25
The Consultant - 2018 - 26
The Consultant - 2018 - 27
The Consultant - 2018 - Changes of Biblical Proportions
The Consultant - 2018 - 29
The Consultant - 2018 - 30
The Consultant - 2018 - 31
The Consultant - 2018 - 32
The Consultant - 2018 - 33
The Consultant - 2018 - Forests for Fish In Michigan, Foresters and Anglers are Learning from Each Other
The Consultant - 2018 - 35
The Consultant - 2018 - 36
The Consultant - 2018 - 37
The Consultant - 2018 - Case Study: Richland Township Woods, North Central Indiana
The Consultant - 2018 - 39
The Consultant - 2018 - Invasive Species 101
The Consultant - 2018 - 41
The Consultant - 2018 - 42
The Consultant - 2018 - 43
The Consultant - 2018 - Evaluating Forest Inventory Technology for Small Landowners
The Consultant - 2018 - 45
The Consultant - 2018 - 46
The Consultant - 2018 - Choosing the Right Accountant or Tax Preparer
The Consultant - 2018 - The History of Forestry in Ireland
The Consultant - 2018 - 49
The Consultant - 2018 - 50
The Consultant - 2018 - 51
The Consultant - 2018 - The American Oak Project Midleton Distillery Creates Rare Irish Whiskey to Promote Sustainable Forestry
The Consultant - 2018 - 53
The Consultant - 2018 - 54
The Consultant - 2018 - 55
The Consultant - 2018 - Products & Services Marketplace
The Consultant - 2018 - 57
The Consultant - 2018 - 58
The Consultant - 2018 - 59
The Consultant - 2018 - Index of Advertisers
The Consultant - 2018 - 61
The Consultant - 2018 - Why not Surround Yourself with the Best?
The Consultant - 2018 - cover3
The Consultant - 2018 - cover4
The Consultant - 2018 - outsert1
The Consultant - 2018 - outsert2
The Consultant - 2018 - outsert3
The Consultant - 2018 - outsert4
The Consultant - 2018 - outsert5
The Consultant - 2018 - outsert6
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