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Back to:Carbon Budget Introduction

Go to: Carbon Budget Stated

Go to:What is a carbon budget?

Go to:How much carbon is stored in U.S. forests?

Go to:What is the current carbon flux of forests in the U.S.?

Go to:How much carbon is in forest products?

Go to:What is the outlook for carbon sequestration in U.S. Forests in the future?

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Viewing:Are publicly owned forests in the U.S. sequestering carbon?

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Q: Are publicly owned forests in the U.S. Sequestering carbon?

A: Yes. Publicly owned forests are currently storing more carbon than they are emitting, and projections indicate they will continue to sequester carbon. The table below contains estimates of public lands divided into two categories, National Forest (NF) forest land and Other Government (OG) forest lands. In this table, Other Government lands include lands owned by Native Americans.

North 793.7
Pacific Coast 2,105.8 684.7 2,790.5
Rocky Mountain 2,701.1 732.3 3,433.4
South 738.8 545.5 1,284.3
United States 6,339.4 3,696.7 10,036.1
North 6
Pacific Coast 17 5 22
Rocky Mountain 24 4 28
South 7 4 11
United States 53 29 82

A positive carbon flux means that more carbon is sequestered in forests than is emitted to the atmosphere.

SOURCE: Details of the methods for calculating these estimates are found in: Heath, L.S. (In press.) Assessing carbon sequestration on public timberland in the coterminous United States. In: The 7th Symposium on System Analysis in Forest Resources, May 28-31, 1997, Bellaire, MI. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station, General Technical Report.