Good forestry pays off for Appalachian forest owners

Appalachia is rich with forest resources, but it's often too costly for landowners to manage their forests sustainably. The Appalachian Carbon Partnership seeks to reward forest stewardship by enrolling landowners in the carbon offset market – and it's paying off! Here's a recent story

The Appalachian Carbon Partnership (ACP) recently paid seven landowners a total of $39,603 for the carbon stored in their sustainably managed forestland. The seven landowners own 3,254 acres of forestland throughout eastern Kentucky and Virginia. The money to retire the carbon offsets came from a combination of individuals, for-profit and nonprofit organizations and a large offset retirement sale to Stonyfield, an organic yogurt company based in New Hampshire.
 “The sale of these managed forest carbon offsets represents an investment in the future of sustainable forest management by private individuals, companies and organizations who want to balance their carbon impact by purchasing offsets,”said MACED forestry program manager Scott Shouse. “Offsetting through the ACP is an easy and cost-effective way for individuals, businesses and organizations to account for their unavoidable emissions while investing in local sustainable development in eastern Kentucky and Central Appalachia.”
One carbon offset is equal to one metric ton of carbon dioxide. As trees grow, they take in carbon dioxide and store the carbon as new wood. The oxygen is then released back into the air. Landowners are compensated for the amount of additional carbon that is stored in their forest each year. “The ACP’s philosophy and my philosophy coincides,” said landowner Noel Watts. “My taking care of the land just fit with what they are trying to do. It was very easy for me to be a part of that and support that.” Watts, who owns 100 acres of forest land in Pulaski County, was one of the seven landowners most recently paid through ACP’s carbon offset program.
The ACP is a project of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) that aims to increase the number of acres of forest in sustainable management and build wealth for forest landowners while mitigating the effects of climate change.
Individuals, businesses and organizations interested in supporting family forest owners in Central Appalachia can click here to calculate emissions and purchase offsets directly online. For bulk purchases and special pricing, contact Angie Allman at or call 859-986-2373.