Page 15 - Georgia Forestry - Issue 3 - Summer 2020
P. 15

  The Power
of Forestry to Combat Carbon Emissions
Is Going Mainstream
By Elizabeth Lenhard
Forest landowners have always known that their trees do more than simply absorb carbon dioxide and emit clean oxygen. They also store away climate-warming carbon—and a lot of it.
The term for this is carbon sequestration, and while it’s certainly been a noted benefit of forest ownership, it probably hasn’t had much influence on owners’
land management values.
But that may be changing.
These days, carbon sequestration is reaping
rewards—both cultural and financial—like never before.
“For a long time, policy makers were all about curbing emissions [to address climate change],” says Dave Tenny, president and CEO of the National Alliance of Forest Owners. “But in recent years, they’re realizing that we can’t get there through emission reductions alone. We have to have natural climate solutions. There’s new interest in what the land can provide.”
Many argue that the best the land provides when it comes to carbon sequestration is trees. Andres Villegas, president of the Georgia
Forestry Association, puts it in tangible terms. “You can take a tree and turn it into lumber,” he explains. “If it goes into a commercial build- ing, that carbon will sit there an average of 200 | 13

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