Tag: climate change

The Hotchkiss School Carbon OffsetForest Update

Hotchkiss School forest site

Hotchkiss School forest site

Captured CO2 in the Hotchkiss School carbon offsett forestTHE HOTCHKISS SCHOOL CARBON-OFFSET FOREST, THE PASTURE WE PLANTED IN JULY, 2007.  In this RTT UNFCCC program, pastures are reforested to capture CO2 for its US sponsors and to earn income for participating farmers.  Each project is a research forest to develop economically sustainable farm forests that meet the needs of emitters and farmers.  This 2½-acre site above was planted in July, 2007 for the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT. The site is shown below after reforestation when the forest was 6.49 years old with 106 MT of CO2e already captured. The chart also shows the participation of the different trees species used in the mixture. Because Hotchkiss was the sponsor of this forest, it has the rights to the CO2 captured in the forest for 25 years to balance its school emissions in the U. S.  We estimate that the forest will capture 20 metric tonnes of CO2 annually on the average during the 25-year agreement RTT signs with the farmer on behalf of the US sponsor.   Another goal in this applied research program is to develop economically sustainable forests that are partially harvested or thinned every 5 years for farmer income and that can store CO2 for over 100 years.  Reforest the Tropics (RTT) is a U. S. non-profit organization that manages this UN environmental education and research & demonstration program.  Photo below, Sept. 17, 2012.

Hotchkiss School Forest

Hotchkiss School Forest

In this photo, the forest is 6 years and 2 months old and is presently capturing CO2 at the annual rate of above 28 metric tonnes/year for the account of Hotchkiss.

HOW MUCH CO2 HAS THIS 12-YEAR OLD FOREST CAPTURED?

Fausto in Hotchkiss School forest

Fausto in Hotchkiss School forest

 Measuring trees in RTT School projects provides data on how much CO2 the forest has accumulated for the school’s CO2 emission account.  Here, Fausto measures a Pilon tree. Below, Dr. Barres lectures to an AP Science class last April in Hotchkiss.  There are 4 elements in RTT School projects: an annual CO2 emissions inventory done with students, teaching sessions, teacher training in the forests in Costa Rica and a 2 1/2 –acre school forest to capture CO2 for the school account and to produce logs for the farmer to sell. For more information, contact Dr. Herster Barres, cell 860-912-7706 in Mystic, CT.

Dr. Barres at Hotchkiss School

Dr. Barres at Hotchkiss School

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Tree Thinnings of the Forest For the Farmer

Forests are thinned to allow the better trees to grow larger by moving upwards into the canopy space left when a tree close by is felled. The trees are very fast growing so thinning is an important strategy to managing a healthy forest which will capture carbon at an optimum rate. The forest is thinned every few years to promote growth for the remaining trees, and to provide an income for the farmer.

The forest species being thinned in these photos taken in July 2013 are Chancho and Klinkii.  These forests are sponsored by The Mohegan Tribal Nation and Superior Nut Company.

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Chancho Thinning at Mohegan Tribal Nation Forest

Klinkii Thinning at Superior Nut Company Forest

Klinkii Thinning at Superior Nut Company Forest

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Case Study # 13

RTT CASE STUDY # 13: HOME DEPOT’S 6.64-YEAR OLD CARBON-OFFSET & PRODUCTION FOREST IN COSTA RICA, March 25, 2009

In 2002 The Home Depot Foundation in Atlanta, GA sponsored a demonstration forest in Costa Rica to explore the possibilities of balancing US greenhouse gas emissions while producing wood on farms in the tropics.  This was done in cooperation with Reforest The Tropics, a CT-based, non-profit organization.  RTT manages a UNFCCC-AIJ program to develop and demonstrate an advanced model of tropical farm forests for those purposes.

RTT works with a limited number of farms in Costa Rica in 33 joint venture forests sponsored by US donors. The Home Depot forest is on the Las Delicias Farm owned by the Rojas Family.  Donations to RTT from The HD Foundation provided a grant to the farm and a contribution towards the costs of establishment and management of this pilot project.

This graph shows the total (upper lines) and current annual (last 12 months, lower lines) sequestration in tonnes of CO2 and m3 of wood production.  The current annual sequestration was 29.4 tonnes of CO2, down from the past year.  The total amount of CO2 stored in the forest in the past 6.64 years is 170.9 tonnes of CO2.  The current and total production in cubic meters of wood is 33 & 188 m3, respectively.  The average annual sequestration and production since planted are 25.7 tonnes and 28.3 m3, respectively.

Long-term management and profitability for the farmer are the keys to   sustainability and long-term carbon storage in farm forests. This project is managed by RTT under a 25-year agreement between RTT and the farm owners. The forest belongs to the farmer while the rights to the CO2 sequestered belong to Home Depot, the forest sponsor, during the agreement.

The goal of the specialized management plan is a sustainable forest that produces a significant cash flow for the farmer while sequestering CO2 efficiently and indefinitely in the forest stand for the US sponsor.  The income will come from the sale of frequent and light thinnings to keep the forest healthy and growing well.  The forest is designed using a mixture of tree species selected for biodiversity, biological stability, fast-growth for early farmer income, wood value and reliability of long-term carbon sequestration.  The Rojas family farm hosts 19 projects.

After the first 25-year contract, the farmer may continue selling additional verified offsets, either to the same sponsor or on the world market.  By then, carbon offsets from new tropical forests could be established as a viable farm product.

Millions of acres of tropical farm pastures are available for carbon storage and wood production.  With advances in bio-fuel chemistry, these sustainable forests may eventually both store CO2, produce wood to be converted to bio-fuels and feed local populations.  Additionally, newer RTT forest models are being designed to sequester even more CO2/$ invested and to be wildlife friendly.

CO2 sequestration graph

CO2 sequestration graph
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Case Study # 09

This forest was planted in August of 2002 to offset the CO2 emissions of the Mohegan Casino in Uncasville, CT
This forest was planted in August of 2002 to offset the CO2 emissions of the Mohegan Casino in Uncasville, CT

RTT CASE STUDY # 9: PRECOMMERCIAL THINNING OF THE MOHEGAN-OFFSET FOREST AT 6.8 YEARS OF AGE.

This forest was planted in August of 2002 to offset the CO2 emissions of the Mohegan Casino in Uncasville, CT.  The forest contains 4 tree species, Deglupta, Chancho, Klinkii and Mahogany.  This was a pre-commercial thinning, taking out the badly formed trees to favor the better formed.  You can see that the two felled trees in this photo were forked at a certain height.  They had little or no potential commercial value while the others left behind, did.  Those left behind can now grow faster with less competition.

The reason these felled trees are forked was wind damage to the tips when they were younger.  This site used to be a pasture.  All of the carbon in the stand, including in the roots, is additional.  This forest had stored 200 tonnes of CO2/ha when it was 6.5 years old.  Farmers will eventually be paid to store carbon (REDD) in forest stands, so information like this is important..

Notice the small Klinkii trees in the lower level of the forest.  These shade-tolerant trees will now start to grow faster with the additional light.  The role of this tree in the mixture of species is to grow to very large sizes for long-term CO2 storage, part of this RTT design.

We expect to thin this fast-growing forest commercially starting at age 8-10, and again thereafter every 3-5 years.  The thinned logs will be sold by the farmer for income, each time leaving the best trees behind in the live forest stand to grow larger. If space appears below the stand, as we expect, other shade-tolerant trees will be underplanted.  Their slower growth in that partial shade may produce finer and more valuable hardwood.

These forests were sponsored by US emitters as part of their GHG management plans. This forest was sponsored by the Mohegan Casino in Uncasville, CT.  The forests serve as training sites for farmers, students and foresters showing them how to manage farm forests for income and for efficient CO2 capture and storage.

Seated on the log is Rolando Camacho, RTT forester.  The farm, Hacienda Las Delicias, is owned by the Rojas Family.  Over thirty designs of mixed-species forests are being tested by RTT for efficient carbon capture, long-term storage and for farmer income for sustainability.  This is a UNFCCC-AIJ program to develop, demonstrate and apply improved models of carbon-offset forests to manage US CO2 emissions.  Photo: June 23, 2009 in Costa Rica.

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Case Study # 31

Ann & Anis Racy sponsored this 2 ½-acre forest to balance their family’s greenhouse gas emissions and to further research into forests on farms in the tropics.

Ann & Anis Racy sponsored this 2 ½-acre forest to balance their family’s greenhouse gas emissions and to further research into forests on farms in the tropics.
RTT CASE STUDY #31: A FAMILY FOREST TO OFFSET CO2 EMISSIONS

Ann & Anis Racy sponsored this 2 ½-acre forest to balance their family’s greenhouse gas emissions and to further research into forests on farms in the tropics.

One of the options recently approved at the Climate Change Meeting in Copenhagen was the use of forests for capturing and storing CO2.  Reforest the Tropics manages a privately funded UN Program to improve, demonstrate and apply farm forests for this purpose.

Forests designed by RTT are unique and advantageous in several ways.

First, they use intimate mixtures of different tree species to achieve biological stability as the climate changes.  You can see some of the species in the photo above.  In the Racy forest we used 5 species: Chancho, Klinkii, Pilon, Cedar and the fast-growing Rainbow tree.

Second, each of these tree species grow at a different rate.  The rainbow tree is capable of producing a commercial size log by the age of 6-8 years.  The Chancho tree does the same in 8-12 years.  Pilon takes 15-18 years.  This allows RTT to manage the forest commercially, thinning it frequently for farmer income while leaving an ever increasing amount of carbon captured in the live forest stand for the account of the Racy family.

Third, thinnings allow RTT to manage the forest sustainably.  Long-term carbon storage in the forest is only possible in a sustainable forest, one that never has to be clear cut.  Farmers in the RTT Model allow RTT to reforest their pastures, but they do this in the understanding that the forest will be profitable for them.  This profitability comes from the forest producing logs from thinnings that the farmer can sell.  The RTT Management model involves frequent thinnings of the fast-growing forest to improve the forest stand.

The goal of the RTT Program is to create and manage these new forests for efficient, long-term CO2 capture and storage to mitigate climate change and to fit the financial needs of farmers to enhance sustainability.   For more information:  reforestthetropics.org or call Dr. Barres, Director at 860-912-7706.

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This Bike Plants Trees

Carbon Balanced Motorcycle at the Unadilla GNCC Woods Race
Carbon Balanced Motorcycle at the Unadilla GNCC Woods Race

A CARBON-BALANCED MOTORCYCLE AT THE UNADILLA GNCC WOODS RACE!
The motorcycle above will be carbon-balanced through reforestation in the tropics through a  donation of $250. The Trees are planted on old cattle pastures to capture the CO2 emitted from the fuel usage. The farmer, through thinning the forest may earn more money with the sale of wood than by cattle farming the land.

By sponsoring a sustainable forest of fast-growing trees in Costa Rica, Scott, the owner, has taken a positive action in which those specific trees will absorb an equal amount of CO2 as the motorcycle emits.

Do your part for combating climate change in a United Nations Carbon Capture and Storage  project in Sustainable Farm Forests.

For more information, contact rspeed777@yahoo.com or call Reforest The Tropics at  860-514-1947.

This Bike Plants Trees

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Education in the Forest

Forest Habitat and Support Projects Photo Gallery

Forest Butterfly

Walking in the forest allows students to see more than just the trees.

Poison Dart Frog

Students from EARTH University visit RTT Forests
Students from EARTH University visit RTT Forests
Teachers from Cutler Middle School
Teachers from Cutler Middle School
Foreground food crop background the forest is growing
Foreground human food crop background the forest is growing.

New London Public School's SEMI students raised funds to offset carbon emitted by the school system.

The SEMI program at New London Public Schools forest is changing as the trees grow

SPONSOR A CARBON-OFFSET FOREST FOR YOUR SCHOOL
A pasture to a forest in less than 6 ½ years A research forest in Costa Rica

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Superior Nut Company

The Carbon-Offset Forests for the Superior Nut Company of Cambridge, Mass.

The Superior Nut Company is an environmentally progressive company based in Cambridge, Mass., USA. Reforest the Tropics partnered with Superior Nut in 1998 to perform a voluntary CO2-emission inventory of Superior Nut’s operations. The information from this inventory was used to plan Superior Nut’s first carbon-offset forest in Costa Rica.

Since that time, Superior Nut has sponsored a total of five tropical carbon-offset forests to balance their global warming emissions. Each acre of their forests will balance 10 metric tons of CO2 every year for 25 years under contract with the farm.

While Superior will benefit from sequestration and long-term storage, the owner of the farms in Costa Rica will benefit from income every 5 years from selling periodic thinnings programmed in the management plan. After the 25-contract is finished, the farmer will be able to sell carbon-offset credits on the world market.

Superior Nut Company achieved its goal ahead of time and is carbon balanced. There is a balance between the carbon dioxide emissions of the factory and the forests sequestering carbon.

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RTT Education

Climate Change and the Role of Tropical Forests

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  • Free classes on climate change and the role of tropical forests.
  • A school forest on a farm in Costa Rica with animals, birds and trees.
  • A sign with your name on it.
  • Capture and store 20 tons of CO2 each year for your greenhouse gas account.
  • A 25-year agreement with the farmer.
  • The farmer benefits from selling some of the production from the managed forest.
  • Your forest is managed by the staff of RTT. A free CO2-emissions inventory done by your students under RTT guidance establishes a baseline for your school or classroom.  Can you become greener?
  • E-mail reports and photos for your class.
  • Watch the forest habitat grow.
  • Monkeys, Toucans, Armadillos, Parrots and more!
  • Participate in our research to develop a better forest.

Forest Habitat and Support Projects Photo Gallery

Forest Butterfly

Walking in the forest allows students to see more than just the trees.

Poison Dart Frog

Elsie Stapf, a teacher in the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT
Elsie Stapf, a teacher in the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT
Students from EARTH University visit RTT Forests
Students from EARTH University visit RTT Forests
Teachers from Cutler Middle School
Teachers from Cutler Middle School
Foreground food crop background the forest is growing
Foreground human food crop background the forest is growing.

New London Public School's SEMI students raised funds to offset carbon emitted by the school system.

The SEMI program at New London Public Schools forest is changing as the trees grow

SPONSOR A CARBON-OFFSET FOREST FOR YOUR SCHOOL
A pasture to a forest in less than 6 ½ years A research forest in Costa Rica

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Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative CMEEC

The CMEEC 15-Acre Carbon-Offset Forest

In 2000, RTT partnered with the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (CMEEC) to plant a 15-acre forest in Costa Rica to help offset carbon emissions created through CMEEC’s energy generation activities.  CMEEC is a publicly directed joint action supply agency formed by the state’s municipal electric utilities.

CMEEC Forest in Costa Rica, July 2008
CMEEC Forest in Costa Rica, July 2008

CMEEC furnishes low-cost and reliable electric power by financing, acquiring and constructing generating resources and implementing power supply contracts.  Connecticut’s municipal utilities supply electric power to over 66,000 customers including some of the largest and most prominent industries in Connecticut.

CMEEC Forest in Costa Rica

Shown above is the 8-year old CMEEC forest ready to be thinned for farmer income (photo taken September, 2008). The remaining forest, after thinning, will continue to sequester and store the CO2 emissions from CMEEC’s office and vehicle emissions. RTT measures most forests annually to calculate the sequestration rate in this applied research program.

RTT Staff Measuring Trees in Costa Rica
RTT Staff Measuring Trees in Costa Rica

Shown above, RTT staff making measurements on some of the 8-year old trees in the CMEEC forest in Costa Rica.  The worker in the tree is measuring the upper diameters of the Chancho trees to be able to accurately calculate their form class, volume and carbon content.  Thinnings are an important part of the RTT Model of carbon-offset forests.  The RTT Model includes thinnings of forests for farmer income as a way to make the forests sustainable. Sustainability is the key to long-term, indefinite carbon storage in forests.

CMEEC Sponsors Forests

CMEEC Sponsors Forests

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