Soil Enrichment Protocol

The Reserve is developing a Soil Enrichment Protocol (SEP) that will provide guidance on how to quantify, monitor, report, and verify agricultural practices that enhance carbon storage in soils. The primary GHG benefit targeted will be the accrual of additional carbon in agricultural soils, with hopes to incentivize GHG emission reductions from other sources, such as N2O from fertilizer use.

Protocol development is being generously funded by Indigo Ag, who is partnering with the Reserve on this effort.

The draft protocol is now available for public review and comment. Please see the draft protocol and details about the comment period below. The protocol is expected to be presented to the Reserve Board of Directors in June 2020.

Public Comment Webinar

The Reserve hosted a webinar on April 29 to discuss the draft protocol and solicit public comments.

Webinar recording
Presentation slides
Stakeholder Q&A

Submit Public Comments

Public comments on the draft Soil Enrichment Protocol are due by close of business on Monday, May 18, 2020. Please submit comments in MS Word format to [email protected]. Staff will respond in writing to all submitted comments and will provide a summary document here along with the original received comments after the close of the comment period.


The Soil Enrichment Protocol is being developed through the Reserve’s multi-stakeholder workgroup process. The Reserve strives to create a well-balanced workgroup consisting of industry representatives, project developers, farmers, environmental NGOs, verification bodies, independent consultants, academia, and government bodies. Workgroup member organizations include:

Alliance of Crop Soil and Environmental Science Societies OpenTEAM, Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment
California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Salk Institute
Colorado State University SES, Inc.
Continuum Ag Shell International Exploration and Production Inc.
C-Quest Capital Sierra View Consulting
Delta Institute The Nature Conservancy
Goodson Ranch LP TREES Consulting LLC
Indigo Ag, Inc. University of California, Berkeley
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University Viresco Solutions Inc
NativeEnergy Woods Hole Research Center
Natural Resources Conservation Service World Resources Institute

Interested stakeholders are welcome to participate in the process as “observers.” Observers may attend workgroup meetings in listen-only mode, comment on the draft protocol when it is released for public comment, and attend the public webinar held during the public comment period. Please email [email protected] if interested in participating as an observer.

Workgroup Meetings

Soil Enrichment Protocol Workgroup Meeting 3
April 3, 2020
Meeting recording
Presentation slides

Soil Enrichment Protocol Workgroup Meeting 2
March 6, 2020
Meeting recording
Presentation slides

Soil Enrichment Protocol Workgroup Meeting 1
February 6, 2020
Meeting recording
Presentation slides

Public Scoping Meeting

The Reserve hosted a public scoping meeting on January 15, 2020 to discuss this new project type. The webinar recording is available below and the presentation slides will be available soon.

Webinar recording
Presentation slides

Protocol Development Timeline

The following timeline will be updated as the protocol development process unfolds.

Public scoping meeting January 15
SOI form deadline January 17
Staff conducts internal research and drafts protocol January
First workgroup meeting February 6
Second workgroup meeting March 6
Third workgroup meeting April 3
Public comment period April – May
Protocol presented to Reserve Board for approval Expected June 10


Please contact [email protected] with questions or comments.