Maine Forest Project Issued Carbon Credits
Photo credit: Downeast Lakes Land Trust.
In November, the California Air Resource Board issued carbon credits to the first forest project outside of California. A portion of the Farm Cove Community Forest, which is managed by the Downeast Lakes Land Trust in Maine, has been issued 200,000 offsets. Proceeds from the sale of the offsets will be used to help finance the Downeast Lakes Land Trust’s capital campaign to expand community-led forest stewardship to over 55,000 acres around the village of Grand Lake Stream, Maine. The land trust worked with Finite Carbon to register the property on the carbon market.
The carbon market is an emerging mechanism that landowners of all types can use to help finance conservation on their land. How it works is a landowner agrees to manage their farm, forest, or ranch in a way that stores more carbon on the land than if they didn’t have the plan. The landowner will then register their project with an approved carbon registry and will be issued offset credits. These credits are purchased on a carbon market by an entity that wishes to offset the carbon it emits.
Read more about the project here.
Grazing Improvement Act Pits Agriculture Groups Against Environmental Organizations
Photo credit: USDA.
The Grazing Improvement Act of 2013 is a bill to amend the permit process that ranchers much go through to receive or renew grazing leases on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service (USFS) lands. It has been the subject of much contention - so much so that it is hard to find an article on it that is not biased.
Agriculture organizations hail it as a much needed reform to a restrictive and burdensome process, while environmental groups decry it for almost eliminating entirely the environmental review process needed to receive or renew leases, as mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act.
Read the full article here.
Insect Invasion Brings Destruction to Southern Pine Forests
Photo credit: U.S. Forest Service.
In recent years, devastation caused by the western pine beetle (Dendroctonus brevicomis) to pine forests in the Western United States has received much media coverage, but pine trees in the South and Mid-Atlantic are not immune to beetle infestations either. Published on December 1, the New York Times article In New Jersey Pines, Trouble Arrives on Six Legs details how the predicament facing New Jersey’s pine forests due to the spread of the southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis), which is similar to, but distinct from the western pine beetle, mirrors the situation in western forests.
While the beetle has made recurring attempts to infest New Jersey’s pine forests in the past, the severity of the past decade’s infestations are unprecedented in recent memory.
Bitterly cold winters were responsible for keeping the beetle in check in the past – winter nights of about 8 degrees below zero are required to kill the beetle, but the last night that cold in New Jersey's Pinelands was in 1996 - severe beetle outbreaks began five years later.
Read the full blog here.
Hemp Farming: A distant past or a possible future?
Photo credit: University of Kentucky (http://exploreuk.uky.edu/catalog/xt7x696zwx82_1_883).
Hemp has been grown around the world as an agricultural product for centuries and has a wide variety of uses. It is used in textiles and paper, as an efficient and renewable biofuel, in generating plastic and building construction materials, in cosmetics and soaps, and as a source of protein and essential nutrients.
However, in the 1930’s hemp was classified along with marijuana as a dangerous drug and it has been illegal to grow since, even though it does not contain enough of the psychoactive chemical THC.
This year, pro-hemp legislation and commerical hemp production received attention when a Colorado farmer planted 55 acres of hemp. In the 2013 legislative season alone, 21 states introduced industrial hemp legislation, ranging from bills that authorized research and studies on hemp to bills that define hemp as a distinct crop from marijuana and remove barriers to its production. Many are touting the environmental and economic benefits of hemp, but others are skeptical of these claims and raise concern about drug enforcement issues.
Read full article here
Help Preserve Vital Resources and Rural Communities Today!
Welcoming Our New Conservation Leader: American Forest Foundation
Become a member of RFF and its PLN and show your support for farmers, forest owners, and ranchers.
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To help private landowners, who are stewards of 71% of our country’s land, and learn about membership benefits click here or contact Christine Force.
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this important feature click here!
US Forest Service Offers Maps for Mobile Devices
The Forest Service has designed an app for iOS and Android mobile devices featuring almost 700 national forest visitor maps.
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