Yurok Indigenous People Register First Compliance Forest Carbon Project Under California Air Resources Board

Climate Forests Investments Feb 11, 2014

11 February 2014 | KLAMATH AND SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA | California’s Yurok people and Australian project developer New Forests today announced that they have successfully registered the first forest carbon project developed under the California Air Resources Board’s (ARB) protocol for US Forest Projects.

The project will issue 704,520 offset credits from 7,660 acres of Douglas Fir and mixed hardwood forest near the Klamath River in Northern California. By registering the Improved Forest Management project and selling carbon offsets in the California cap and trade system, the Yurok Tribe has made a legal commitment to maintain current forest carbon stocks and to manage the forest for both increased carbon sequestration and sustainable timber production.

The Yurok say the project will help them improve the management of their homeland and support watershed rehabilitation to improve forest diversity and reduce runoff that adversely affects salmon populations.

Through its Forest Carbon Partners, L.P. investment fund, New Forests has provided offset project finance and managed all aspects of project development and offset credit sales for the project. The Yurok project is one of six forest carbon offset projects currently under development by New Forests for the California carbon market. SCS Global Services provided offset verification services for the project, which was registered with the Climate Action Reserve (CAR).

“This carbon offset project will foster the restoration of a significant swath of forest,” said Thomas P. O’Rourke Sr., Chairman of the Yurok Tribal Council. “Our partnership with New Forests will provide the Tribe with the means to boost biodiversity, accelerate watershed restoration, and increase the abundance of important cultural resources like acorns, huckleberry and hundreds of medicinal plants that thrive in a fully functioning forest ecosystem.”

“With the successful registration of the Yurok Project, we are demonstrating that the rigorous California compliance offset protocol can deliver real financial and environmental benefits to forest landowners in
California and across the nation,” said Brian Shillinglaw, Associate Director, New Forests Inc. “This project marks the first time that a regulatory carbon offset market has created a financial incentive for leaving a tree standing, placing a financial value on the carbon sequestration services that forests provide. The California carbon market will incentivize sustainable forestry, forest conservation and improved wildlife habitat on both industrial and non-industrial timberlands throughout the United States.”