Forest Management and Climate Change

“Trees are living storage vessels of carbon.  Greenhouse gases – such as carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere are causing the earth’s climate to gradually warm.  During photosynthesis, trees and other plants pull CO2 from the atmosphere and convert it to carbohydrates that fuel growth.  The carbon remains stored in the cellulose of the trees cell walls.  When a tree dies and the wood begins to decay, carbon is slowly released back to the atmosphere.”*

At least since 2012, when the Forest Service established a forest Planning rule that required assessments of baseline carbon stocks in the national forests, climate change scientists have been using carbon storage metrics in order to help the fight against the warming of the earth through how some of the national forests are being managed.

Forest managers are required to monitor changes in those baseline as they relate to management, climate change and other stressors.  To do so, forest managers use data driven methods for conducting baseline assessments of current carbon stocks and to monitor change.

**As climate change continues to impact our environments, there will be a good chance that logging practices will be affected by how the forest scientists allot stands for harvest due to carbon storage concerns.  This may decrease supplies or certain lumber species and increase the overall cost of lumber products as supplies are tightened. **

 

 

*USDA – Science Findings – Feb. 2016

**Opinion

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