The Van Eck Forest in California is comprised of four redwood forest parcels in the vicinity of Arcata, California. A working forest conservation easement on the land ensures it will never be lost to development, converted to other uses or logged in an unsustainable manner. The easement’s terms guide the Pacific Forest Trust’s management of the land to restore its forests to old growth conditions while sustainably producing fine wood, protecting habitat for fish and wildlife, safeguarding clean water and significantly increasing the volume of carbon dioxide permanently removed from the atmosphere.
Created in July 2006, the Van Eck Forest Project was developed on the Van Eck Forest in California and became the first emissions reductions project registered and independently certified under rigorous accounting standards adopted by the state of California to help meet its ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals.
The Van Eck Forest Project is expected to reduce more than 500,000 tons of CO2 emissions over a 100-year period by ensuring that the existing stores in this carbon rich forest are never lost, but will grow continually as timber harvest will never remove more than 50 percent of the forest’s annual growth. For comparison, a conventionally managed forest would typically be more aggressively harvested, removing as much as possible of current standing timber and continually cutting as much of the new growth as regulations will allow.
Forests like the Van Eck provide climate benefits by absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it as carbon in trees for hundreds of years or longer. Established working forests are especially effective at storing carbon as they grow older, due to the fact they store substantially greater volumes of carbon over a shorter time than do recently planted trees. Sales of “carbon credits,” or verified emissions reductions, have generated millions of dollars in additional revenue to the Fred M. van Eck Forest Foundation, complementing returns from sustainable forestry, and contributing to the long term stewardship of the property.
Source: Pacific Forest Trust: www.pacificforest.org
Related Resources: Working Forests. Winning Climate. 2007
New York Times: California Forest Hailed as Model for New Management. 9/29/2011
Van Eck Global does not sponsor or have any direct involvement with the Van Eck Forest Project.