Most of Kentucky’s thousands of acres of woodlands are owned privately. And this week, some forest owners received sizable checks not for the timber they harvested, but for the carbon dioxide their trees stored and kept from forming global warming gases in the atmosphere. Mountain Association for Community Economic Development program manager Scott Shouse (like “house”) says the checks came from the sale of carbon credits on an open market. He says the program may not suit every forest owner.
“Timber is always going to be worth more per acre than carbon, absolutely without question. But a lot of people just don’t want to do a lot of more intensive management,” says Shouse.
So in those cases, Shouse says, selling carbon credits may be just enough to pay for property taxes, or the kind of less intensive management woods that aren’t harvested call for.