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A Carbon Accounting Framework for Oregon

Photo of Oregon forest west of the Cascade Range.Oregon forest west of the Cascade Range.Snapshot : How much carbon do Oregon’s forests sequester each year? An amount equivalent to the annual emissions from 6.6 million passenger vehicles, give or take 1.6 million cars. Between 2001 and 2016, Oregon’s forests functioned as a net sink of carbon, with stores increasing at a rate of 30.9 ± 7.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Kuegler, OlafChristensen, Glenn
Research Station : Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW)
Year : 2019
Highlight ID : 1580

Summary

The state of Oregon approached the USDA Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station for help in developing a reliable forest carbon accounting framework to support policy development and monitoring. Oregon has 30 million acres of forest that cover roughly half of the state. With their ability to absorb and store atmospheric carbon, forests can play a key role in offsetting carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion. To mitigate carbon emissions through forest management policy, the state needs a reliable forest carbon accounting framework. Analysts with the station worked closely with the Oregon Department of Forestry to develop the quantitative dimension of a carbon accounting framework. Their work is based on measurements of live tree and dead wood biomass collected and analyzed annually by the Forest Inventory and Analysis program at the research station. The report, Oregon Forest Ecosystem Carbon Inventory: 2001-2016 provides estimates for the status and trends of carbon in Oregon's forest ecosystems and ownership. During the study period, the state's forests functioned as a net sink, sequestering more carbon than was lost through harvest, wildfire, or conversion to other land uses. Carbon stores increased at a rate of 30.9 ± 7.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Oregon Department of Forestry