Arcata Sunnybrae Tract – Humboldt County, CA381 tons offset
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The Sunnybrae and Barnum forest tracts are a prospering community forest with walking trails, recreation and wildlife conservation.
Located in Humboldt County, California, the area is dominated by coastal Redwood and Douglas fir.
The City of Arcata purchased the Sunnybrae and Barnum parcels from private landholders in 2006 and 2003, respectively; permanently preventing the forests from being harvested for timber.
In 2003, the project site, Barnum Tract, was purchased from a timber company. At the time, the land was at a high risk of intensive harvesting and deforestation.
Now, the Barnum Tract absorbs and stores CO2 equal to removing 550 cars from the road each year, and provides invaluable benefits to the forest ecosystem and local community.
The project was verified by Climate Action Reserve as an Improved Forest Management project which sequesters 2,500 metric tons more carbon per year than neighboring forests.
ENVIRONMENTAL & COMMUNITY CO-BENEFITS
The Arcata forestry project not only sequesters carbon, but also provides the local community with opportunities to take part in the conservation project, providing recreational and educational opportunities.
This forest management project has maintained and enhanced the integrity of the watershed, wildlife, fisheries and plant resources.
It creates a natural buffer between Arcata and the surrounding areas, and supports the forest ecosystem, protecting plants other than trees and animals living in the Arcata forest.
The project has also helped influence forest management on other privately-owned parcels of land in the surrounding area.
The forest is very popular with hikers and birders with its diverse trail access. With over 622 acres of land and streams – the forest is a thriving area for timber sustainability.
Arcata’s forestry model integrates ecological, social, and economic components into a cohesive approaches to forestry issues. Community-based approaches give local residents both the opportunity and the responsibility to manage their natural resources effectively, and to enjoy the benefit of that responsibility.
ABOUT FOREST MANAGEMENT CARBON OFFSETS
Because trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, forests have the ability to sequester large amounts of carbon. According to Climate Trust, there are three main pathways to produce Forestry Carbon Offsets:
- Afforestation or Reforestation: Creating or re-establishing forests, thus planting more trees that can absorb CO2 and produce oxygen.
- Avoided Conversion: Making commitments to save and maintain forests, like the Barnum Tract, that are at a high risk of deforestation.
- Improved Forest Management: Managing the forest more sustainably to increase productivity and age of forests.
Independent ratings agencies, such as the Climate Action Reserve and the Forest Stewardship Council, use rigorous standards to measure and evaluate forestry carbon offset projects, meticulously calculating the exact amount of carbon that the projects sequester. Both agencies have approved the Arcata Forest project after an eight-year verification program.
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