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appalachian carbon partnership


MACED appreciates the support and interest shown by many people in our carbon offsets program, the Appalachian Carbon Partnership. Unfortunately, we are unable to continue the program in its current form. 


ACP promoted sustainable forest management on private, non-industrial forestland in Central Appalachia, and compensated forest landowners for carbon sequestered by their forests. ACP sought to create a community of landowners and partners that worked together to increase sustainable forest management, ecological health and economic value of Central Appalachian forests, and wealth for economically distressed communities.


The carbon credits market has changed significantly since MACED began offering this program to landowners eight years ago. The verification platform we originally used to register and market carbon offsets is no longer in operation. We tried for four years to transition from the original platform (the Chicago Climate Exchange, or CCX) to a different one. In the end, we determined that the new platform would have imposed impractical requirements for small landowners in the Central Appalachian region.


Since we started the carbon offsets program in 2007, we have helped 48 landowners certify 28,739 acres of forestland as sustainably managed. Not only did we facilitate their learning about how to best care for their forestland, but we also were able to help them better understand why sustainable forests matter – to them as landowners, to the environment, and to the economic health of eastern Kentucky.


"Going through the certification process, I learned a lot more about the land and about managing it, and what to do and what not to do [in my forest]. There's a process to go through, but the process… was simple and fun, and you meet lots of nice people," said Noel Watts, an ACP landowner in Somerset, Ky. "I think it's our obligation to future generations to properly manage the land."


The first ACP carbon offsets were sold in 2009. Since then, 29,500 tons of carbon offsets have been retired, and $223,500 has been paid to participating landowners.


Although the program is winding down, we still have 47,000 tons of carbon offsets available for purchase through November 2016. More than half of the landowners enrolled in ACP have committed to stay in the program and maintain their management plans through December 2016, when the program will officially close. If you would like to make a purchase to support these landowners and the health of Appalachian Kentucky forests, click here, and in the "Designation" field, type "Appalachian Carbon Partnership." Proceeds, as always, will be passed through to the remainder of our participating landowners. For more information about the ACP, please visit its website. For bulk sales pricing, contact forestry@maced.org.


We learned a lot about forests and about what it takes to move big ideas over the past eight years. This program may be winding down, but MACED remains committed to developing opportunities in this important sector of our regional economy. We look forward to finding new ways to promote good stewardship and better capitalize on this vital resource to benefit our communities well into the future.
We hope you will continue to support our forestry work as we seek new and exciting endeavors for its future.


How Managed Forest Carbon Offsets Work:

forest managementForests efficiently reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere when they grow. Growing trees take in carbon dioxide, which is one part carbon and two parts oxygen. They use the carbon to build new wood and release the oxygen back into the air.


Through the managed forest carbon offsets market, landowners are paid for the amount of carbon dioxide that is removed from the atmosphere by their forests and stored as a building block of new wood. One carbon offset is equal to one metric ton of carbon dioxide, or its equivalent for another greenhouse gas such as methane, sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxide. Greenhouse gasses trap heat from the sun. This is the main cause of climate change.


The service that trees provide to remove carbon dioxide from the air has gained more attention as climate change has become a global threat. Forests that are well managed can take in additional carbon dioxide and keep the carbon locked in their wood for long periods of time.


To be eligible for this market, the carbon offsets must be the result of certified sustainable forest management. This means that forest landowners must provide documentation to prove that the offsets are real and result from certified sustainable management of existing forests.