These Whatcom forests are protected from logging in WA’s ‘historic’ new carbon project

Nearly 1,400 acres of state-owned forests near Lake Whatcom will be newly protected from logging as part of an initiative announced Wednesday, April 6, by Washington’s Department of Natural Resources.

Instead, the trees will be monetized for their ability to combat worsening climate change. This “historic carbon project,” as the agency described it, will allow Western Washington’s “most ecologically valuable” forests to continue growing and absorbing planet-warming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This stored carbon will generate “carbon credits,” or permits that can be purchased by organizations or individuals to offset, or cancel out, their own greenhouse gas emissions.

“Instead of high-tech solutions to suck carbon out of the atmosphere, we are using natural processes like photosynthesis,” said Steve Hollenhorst, who served as dean of Western Washington University’s College of the Environment from 2012 to 2021. “It’s sort of low-hanging fruit. We can do this now.”

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Thursday, April 7, 2022