Calculating Carbon Stocks in WisconsinRATIONALE
The emerging scientific consensus that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are affecting global climate patterns requires governments and organizations active in responsible resource management to develop ways to reduce and eventually reverse growth of atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. Both public and private sector concerned about future impacts of international and national actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions require better data and understanding of carbon assets, liabilities, and market opportunities. Winrock International uses sound science and economics in its work to help mobilize the required commitment of public and private capital to respond to the global challenges of climate change. Under several sources of support, Winrock has estimated the quantity and marginal cost for carbon sequestration activities for important categories of land use change and forestry projects in 23 states within the USA. This project with the state of Wisconsin will use the same methods previously developed and applied to the other 23 states for estimating the carbon supply for Wisconsin. The project will improve the quality of information available about the potential role of carbon sequestration in the State of Wisconsin and how it may contribute to the Governor's Task Force goals of reducing their net GHG emissions.
The objective of this project is to identify and estimate carbon sources and sinks in Wisconsin while also classifying carbon storage opportunities and costs. By studying key sources and sinks of carbon in the land-use and forestry sector of Wisconsin at the county level, we can quantify the total increase and decrease in carbon stocks due to land cover changes. We also will identify a suite of changes that could take place to increase carbon sequestration, and we will then quantify the costs of these changes, including opportunity costs, conversion costs, maintenance costs, and measuring and monitoring costs.
a. Assess options for changing land use and management practices including, but not limited to: afforestation, reforestation, protection from conversion, restocking, extended rotation, and early commercial thinning.
b. Assess options for changing tree management practices in communities in a manner that enhances carbon storage and reduces carbon emissions from traditional sources.
c. Identify potential environmental and economic co-benefits of implementing certain land-use change activities and map these benefits along with the carbon supply and cost curves.
d. Compare the pros and cons of participating in available protocols and emerging protocol(s) if applicable.
e. Assess Wisconsin's capacity to reduce GHG emission by using best management practices to reduce soil disturbances.
f. Produce county-scale summary maps and a report summarizing the background, methodology, findings, and recommendations of the study.