Project Profile – Arcata Community Forest
Plant a Tree! We know you’ve seen the global and local “Plant A Tree” campaigns, and the refrain is heard at schools, in communities and at corporate events. But planting trees isn’t just about beautifying a street or providing a shady spot under which to relax – there are so many more benefits to adding more “green stuff” to our cities, states and countries! Trees store carbon in their trunks, roots, branches and leaves, and adding trees to the environment removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which aids in the fight against climate change.
One of the many terrapass projects that supports the environment is the Arcata City Forest Barnum Tract. The Arcata City Forest project is a community forest in Northern California. The land was purchased from a timber company in 2003 and was determined to be at high risk of intensive harvesting or cutting. The forest is now certified to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) management standards, and it absorbs and stores approximately 2,500 more metric tons of carbon dioxide (C02) a year than neighboring forests – that’s the equivalent of taking 550 cars off the road each year.
Forests can sequester carbon dioxide in a variety of ways. Carbon is stored in the trunks, leaves, branches and roots of trees. Carbon is also stored in the forest soil, understory plants and green “litter” on the forest floor. An Improved Forest Management Project under the CAR Forest Project Protocol involves changing forest management practices to increase carbon stocks on forested land relative to baseline (or “business as usual”) levels of carbon stocks. In other words, Improved Forest Management helps forests like Arcata sequester more carbon.
The Arcata Forest project creates verified carbon offsets through the Climate Action Reserve’s Forest Project Protocol. Offsets from the project save trees and store carbon for one hundred years or more. Although forest management is costly and labor intensive, requiring the work of professional foresters, the Arcata Forest Project is completely self-funded through the sale of carbon offsets and there is no reliance on taxpayer dollars.
The Arcata Forest provides recreational and educational opportunities for the community, casting itself as a model for other nature preserves on the West Coast. A natural buffer between the town of Arcata and the surrounding wilderness, the forest serves to strengthen stream restoration efforts for the protection of steelhead trout and salmon, additional habitat structure for nesting raptors and habitat for the northern spotted owl.
If the Arcata Community Forest Project speaks to you and you’d like to support their efforts, the
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