Forest Protocol White Papers

When Version 3.0 of the Forest Protocol (FP) was adopted by the Reserve’s Board of Directors on September 1, 2009 the Board instructed Reserve staff to continue to explore a series of issues related to forest carbon accounting and forest management practices. To this end, the Reserve commissioned a series of white papers to examine these issues in more depth. The white papers cover the following topics:

  • Accounting for carbon in soils affected by forest carbon projects
  • Accounting for carbon in lying dead wood
  • Evaluation of sustainable forestry certification programs and criteria
  • Effects on forest carbon of even-aged management and alternative silvicultural activities
  • Assessment of forest project eligibility on federal lands

The first four of these papers are available for download below.

Public Comment Period for Federal Lands White Paper

The final white paper concerning the assessment of forest project eligibility on federal lands is available for public review below.

Briefly, the main conclusions of the federal lands white paper are:

  • The main barrier to allowing offsets from federal forests is a lack of clarity that federal lands can accept encumbrances from private entities, such as the Reserve, to protect the integrity of forest offset projects.
  • There are some challenges in assuring that offsets are real, additional, and permanent, but in general the existing Reserve forest protocol can be applied to federal lands.
  • In general, there is modest opportunity for creation of forest carbon credits on federal lands because baseline carbon stocks are high (the opportunities for additional sequestration are limited) and the administrative costs of implementing offset projects on federal lands are high.

Similar to the other white papers, the objective in developing the federal lands paper is to further explore with stakeholders the possibility of expanding the scope and applicability of the FP. To begin that process, the Reserve held a public comment period which ended on July 18, 2012. Public comments on the federal lands paper are available below.

Placer County Air Pollution Control District The Wilderness Society
The Trust for Public Land Yurok Tribe

Public Workshop for Federal Lands White Paper

The Reserve hosted a public workshop in San Francisco on July 13, 2012 to discuss the Federal Lands White Paper as well as the draft FP Version 3.3. The presentation is available below.

Federal Lands White Paper Public Workshop Presentation Slides – July 2012

Proposed Strategy to Revise the Forest Protocol in Response to White Papers

In response to the first four forest protocol white papers and stakeholder feedback, the Reserve has proposed a strategy to revise the Forest Protocol. Please review the document below for further detail.

Proposed Strategy to Revise the Forest Protocol (June 20, 2011)

Public Comments

The Reserve held a 45-day public comment period for written comments on the first four completed white papers. The comment period ended on March 25, 2011 and public comments and staff responses to comments are available below.

Summary of Comments and Responses – Forest White Papers (June 20, 2011)

Blue Source LLC Karen Maki
Catherine Koehler, UC Davis Kim Mattson, Ecosystems Northwest
Center for Biological Diversity L&C Carbon
Central Coast Forest Watch Pacific Forest Trust
Deanna Wulff, Journalist Rainforest Action Network
Ebbett’s Pass Forest Watch Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Forest Stewardship Council Weyerhaeuser Company

Public Workshop

The Reserve hosted two public workshops to solicit further input from the public on these papers. Please see below for the webinar presentation slides, agendas, and video presentations.

Forest White Papers Public Workshop Presentation Slides – March 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011
Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University
Durham, NC
Video Presentation

Thursday, March 10, 2011
California EPA Headquarters Building
Sacramento, CA
Video Presentation

If you have questions about the forest protocol white papers, please contact [email protected].