OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Demonstrations and Projects: Cameron Carbon Project

Carbon Sequestration on Family Forestlands

Sunset at the Cameron TractWhat is Carbon Sequestration?

Carbon sequestration is the process used by living plants that removes CO2 gases from the atmosphere and deposits them into storage reservoirs. Forested areas are among the greatest carbon storage reservoirs in the world. It is estimated that forests world-wide currently store 800 billion tons of carbon in trees and soil, and by the year 2050, up to 87 billion additional tons of carbon could be sequestered in the world’s forests if forests were managed primarily for sequestration (B. Metz, O. Davidson, R. Swart, J. Pan. “Climate Change 2001: Mitigation.” Cambridge, U.K. Cambridge University Press. 2001).

Inventorying Carbon Sequestration on Family Forestlands: Why and How?

This project aims to provide basic knowledge about carbon sequestration and carbon markets with the hope that this knowledge will then help forestland owners make educated decisions about participation in carbon sequestration markets. The idea for this project came from gaps in knowledge surrounding the measurement of carbon sequestration on family forestlands in Oregon, as well as an opportunity for meeting the goals of the Elizabeth Starker Cameron Demonstration Forest. The Cameron Forest is a demonstration forest used to educate the public about issues and practices concerning family forest owners. Demonstrations of carbon sampling do exist on private lands, but no such project exists on a publically-accessible forest.

Sign at the Cameron TractThis project was designed to:

a. Provide an easily understood framework for sampling carbon storage in the forest.
b. Examine differences in carbon uptake, storage, and flux on different forest and management systems practiced by family forest owners in Oregon.
c. Create a demonstration of carbon sampling on these different forest and management types, utilizing a written manuscript, a website, on-site kiosks, and a field tour.

We measured levels of carbon sequestration and storage in trees and other components of the Cameron Forest. The project area consists of 162 acres of the Cameron Forest (see map of stands). Areas were selected due to their diversity and resemblance to family forest lands in the area. An inventory was completed resulting in a baseline assessment of the carbon stored at the time of the inventory. This data was then put into a model which projects the growth of the forest, the rate of carbon sequestrated, and the amounts of carbon stored over a period of time. The results from the model were then used to make comparisons between different forest and management types.

This website was developed in 2012 as part of a Master of Forestry project by Ed Cummings, under the guidance of Rick Fletcher and John Bliss. It was designed as a resource for family forest owners and to provide baseline information for future research on the Cameron Forest. It gives viewers: an overview of the Cameron Carbon Project, access to the project in its entirety, and maps of project area. For access to the inventory data and GPS files please contact Ed Cummings.