New program to open up carbon market to small forest owners in West Virginia

By Mike Tony, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A new program enabling owners of small forestlands to prosper from improving forest health while slowing climate change is launching in West Virginia.

The Family Forest Carbon Program, which pays family and individual small forest owners to implement practices that increase the amount of carbon sequestered and stored on the land, is opening enrollment to West Virginia landowners.

The program could pay significant financial and environmental dividends in the Mountain State, given that West Virginia is the third-most forested state in the nation with more than 12 million acres of forestland.

“The thing that excites me the most is that it provides small family forest owners a way to get income so that they can do these conservation processes, store carbon in their land and at the same time have a little bit of extra funds so that they can pay their taxes and keep the forest in their family,” said Edward Brzostek, an associate biology professor at West Virginia University who studies ecosystem carbon storage…

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