As our friends at the Rural Blog have reported, the Appalachian Carbon Partnership has launched a resource to pair individuals, families, companies or organizations with landowners who are practicing sustainable management techniques to store carbon on their forest land. ACP is a joint project between MACED (KY), Rural Action (OH) and Appalachian Sustainable Development (VA).
According to the Partnership website, 90% of forestland in the region is privately owned with less than five percent under any sort of management plan. Appalachian forests are under tremendous development pressures, with forest- land being converted to roads, suburban development and mines at the average rate of one square mile per week. Because these forests are among the most diverse on the planet, and provide significant ecosystem services like clean water and habitat locally, as well as carbon sequestration and rich biodiversity globally, this conversion rate is particularly alarming.
Through the Partnership, people or organizations that are interested in lowering their carbon footprints can retire Appalachian Forest Offsets. When the offsets are retired, the money goes directly to the family forest owners who have made long-term commitments to practice sustainable forest management.
Depending on the location of the land, forest owners will work with one of the three partner organizations. Ultimately, MACED serves as the official aggregator for the carbon offsets. The Partnership hopes to simplify the process for connecting family forest owners to the carbon markets, allowing revenues to support the long-term protection of the region's significant forest resources.