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Evaluating land-use and private forest management responses to a potential forest carbon offset sales program in western Oregon (USA)

Latta, Gregory S., Adams, Darius M., Bell, Kathleen P., Kline, Jeffrey D.
Forest policy and economics 2016 v.65 pp. 1-8
afforestation, carbon dioxide, carbon markets, carbon sinks, forests, inventories, land use change, planting, prices, private forestry, sales, simulation models, uneven-aged management, Oregon
We describe the use of linked land-use and forest sector models to simulate the effects of carbon offset sales on private forest owners' land-use and forest management decisions in western Oregon (USA). Our work focuses on forest management decisions rather than afforestation, allows full forest sector price adjustment to land-use changes, and incorporates time-dependent costs and restrictions of offset programs. The land-use model utilizes structure count data on some 21,000 plots spanning 30years. The intertemporal optimizing forest sector model employs mill-level demand and FIA plot-level inventory. Our linked simulation modeling projects that an offset sales program could reduce forest land loss to development in western Oregon by about 4700acres over the 2010–2060 simulation period for each $1 increase in the carbon price. At $10 per tonne CO2, regional private carbon stocks would be roughly stabilized at current levels over the period to 2060. Rotations would lengthen on enrolled lands, as expected, but use of planting, thinning and uneven-aged management would decline.