The Consultant - 2018 - 25

CARBON OFFSETS

While compliance projects based in California have been
awarded the most forest offsets to date, large volumes have also
been issued to landowners in Washington, Maine, Arizona, West
Virginia, Virginia, Michigan and South Carolina, demonstrating
that private landowners from all U.S. regions are successfully
participating in the program (Figure 3).

Figure 3. California
compliance forest
carbon offset volume
issued by state
(2013 Q3 to 2017 Q4;
CaliforniaCarbon.info).

IMPROVED FOREST MANAGEMENT
PROJECT FUNDAMENTALS
As the world's largest GHG compliance trading program to
accept forest offsets, and with increasing linkage to other C&T
programs, California's compliance offset program remains the
most viable path for U.S. landowners to realize carbon offset
revenue. In addition to the fundamental concept of additionality described earlier, major eligibility and forest management
requirements for California IFM projects are as follows:
* Ownership. The primary opportunity remains on private
forestlands, including tribal trust and fee forests. Non-federal
public forests are eligible, but must adhere to a more stringent additionality standard than that used for private forestlands, and that essentially precludes public land participation
in the program.
* Commencement date. Actions that trigger the start of a
project include a change in ownership, recording a conservation easement or, most common, committing to the
carbon project itself.
* Location. Forest projects may be developed anywhere in the
continental U.S., and southeast coastal Alaska.
* Project commitment. Also known as "permanence," or project
life, ARB requires that projects maintain credited carbon
stocks for 100 years. Periodic inventories and verifications are
required to demonstrate that committed carbon stocks and
other program conditions are being met and are the primary
costs associated with program compliance.
* Forest use protection. AC projects require a qualified conservation easement naming ARB as a third party with standing to
enforce the easement. IFM projects do not require an easement, but may receive more offsets if a qualified easement is
present due to the additional layer of project protection from
land use conversion. Easements that predate IFM project commencement only impact project performance to the degree
that the easement restricts harvesting.
THE CONSULTANT

2018

* Sustainable forest management (SFM). For forests that are commercially harvested, SFM requirements include: (1) maintaining a management plan across all landowner holdings
that is (a) certified under SFI, ATFS or FSC, (b) prepared
and enrolled under a state or federal forestry program (e.g.,
Stewardship Program or land use taxation program) or (c)
adheres to uneven-aged harvest as defined by the offset
protocol; and (2) that even-aged harvests defined as 50BA
or less residual stocking be no greater than 40 acres with a
green-up buffer requirement. It is critical that landowners
adhere to the SFM requirements from project commencement onward. Failure to follow the SFM requirements will
make a project ineligible to receive offsets. This is especially
important for IFM projects during the first reporting period
when a major portion of project offsets are issued. Project
owners can minimize their exposure to potential violations
of the SFM requirement by ceasing commercial harvesting
during the first reporting period.

THE IFM PROJECT
DEVELOPMENT CYCLE
At a minimum, end-to-end project development requires an
integrated knowledge of inventory design and implementation,
carbon modeling, economic analysis, GIS, verification management, and offset marketing and transactions. Whether paying a
service provider to develop some portions of a project or working with a turnkey developer like Finite Carbon who is paid a
success-based fee in offsets, it is important that landowners
work with a project partner who has the experience to determine
if a project is viable, establish transparent and clearly defined
commercial terms, and align incentives between both parties
to eliminate surprises and ensure project success.
Feasibility. While the compliance offset market has matured
and many service providers now more fully understand their
respective roles and the forest offset protocol, the cost of project
development has only increased, with initial costs exceeding
$150,000-250,000+ for even smaller projects and long-term project maintenance and operations costs starting at $300,000+ in
today's dollars. Therefore, before diving into project development
it is imperative that a landowner receive a realistic and accurate
appraisal of potential carbon performance before committing
to the program's lengthy and exacting requirements.
Feasibility studies can be performed on a fee basis or, if working with a developer, may come at no charge or obligation to
the landowner. Most evaluations of project potential are completed using the owner's most recent inventory, current forest
management plan and GIS shape files. Since the inception of
the compliance program, increasing project cost and complexity has resulted in a rising threshold for project viability. At
current prices of $11+ per offset, minimum feasibility requirements for an ARB IFM project throughout most of the U.S. are
5,000+ acres, stocking at or above regional common practice
and conservative management, meaning harvest is less than
growth when considered across the entire project area. An
accurate assessment of project potential cannot be overstated
25


http://www.CaliforniaCarbon.info

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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