Thursday, June 30, 2016

Carbon-certified Bear Creek Watershed (Astoria)

Date of Visit: June 30, 2016
Type of Event: Study Tour
Topic: Carbon credits for watersheds and forests
Organization: City of Astoria
Location: Bear Creek Watershed, Astoria, Oregon
Host: David Ford / L&C Carbon
International Fellows: Abiodun Solanke (Nigeria), Adam Wasiak (Poland), Andrea Cornejo (Nicaragua), Ana de Miguel (Spain), Karishmaa Pai (India), Samantha Kwan (Malaysia), Yu Lei (China)
WFI Staff: Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager, Rick Zenn /Senior Fellow, Michael Zhan (Intern)

The Bear Creek Astoria watershed presents an interesting forest management initiative where the 3,700 acre catchment has been carbon certified. This has provided an innovative and generous economic benefit for the city, amounting to $2 million earned through the sale of carbon credits on the voluntary market in just the first 2 years of management (project extends to 50 years). It is important to clarify that the case of the Astoria Watershed is unique; the land is own by the City of Astoria which allows the city to manage the forest for carbon credits.

How it works:
Carbon credits are awarded when a company or forest land (in this case) go beyond the baseline to store or improve carbon sequestration and reduce carbon emissions. The Bear Creek forest area accumulates carbon credits through 3 actions which result in a longer storage of carbon within tree stands and extends the life of the ecosystem within:
  • Extending their rotation
  • Delaying timber harvest
  • Reducing volume of harvest
Carbon credits are not mandatory in Oregon, as is the case in California, so the voluntary action for the watershed has reaped many benefits in terms of growing carbon stocks, ecological benefits as well as additional revenue for the City for other public services. The sale was mediated by Portland-based The Climate Trust, processed under the American Carbon Registry (ACR) protocol and the credits were purchased by a power plant to offset their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

Facts in a Nutshell:
  • Carbon credits bought: 245,000
  • Greenhouse gas equivalent: 51,000 passenger vehicles
  • Project cost: $ 175,000
  • Project income: $ 2,000,000

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tualatin Hills Nature Park

Date of Visit: June 22, 2016
Type of Event: Study Tour
Topic: Urban forest park and habitat restoration
Organization: Tualatin Hills Nature Park
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Host: F. Scott Wagner, Park Ranger, Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District
International Fellows: Abiodun Solanke (Nigeria), Adam Wasiak (Poland), Andrea Cornejo (Nicaragua), Ana de Miguel (Spain), Karishmaa Pai (India), Yu Lei (China), Samantha Kwan (Malaysia)
WFI Staff: Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager, Michael Zhan / Intern from China

On this day, we went on a study tour to the Tualatin Hills Nature Park located in Beaverton, Oregon.

The main objective of this study tour was to learn about restoration strategies for an urban forest park. During our visit, we also learned about wetland mitigation, trail building and corridor habitat improvement.

This 220-acre urban park covered with evergreen deciduous forests, wetlands and meadows represents a high value habitat for wildlife. This park is a great example of how an island type of forest habitat can be reconnected and restored with adjacent land to create wildlife migration corridors.

Restoration sites: 
  • Tadpole Pond
    • Enhanced five tadpole ponds and surrounding area
    • Improved habitat for the red-legged frog, Rana aurora, a species listed in Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Sensitive Species List
Red-legged frog


Monday, June 20, 2016

International Fellow SpotLight: Abiodun "Abi" Solanke

Each month, you can learn about one of the WFC’s visiting International Fellows who has been selected for a six-month assignment to collaborate with forestry practitioners here in the Pacific Northwest. The Fellows are passionate, engaged in their local communities, and committed to driving change in forest management practices around the globe.