Oregon has 30 million acres of forest.
The state of Oregon approached the Pacific Northwest Research Station for help in developing a reliable forest carbon accounting framework to support policy development and monitoring. Oregon has 30 million acres of forest that cover roughly half of the state. With their ability to absorb and store atmospheric carbon, forests can play a key role in offsetting carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion.
To mitigate carbon emissions through forest management policy, the state needs a reliable forest carbon accounting framework. Analysts with the Pacific Northwest Research Station worked closely with the Oregon Department of Forestry to develop a quantitative dimension of a carbon accounting framework. Their work is based on measurements of live tree and dead wood biomass collected and analyzed annually by the Forest Inventory and Analysis program at the research station.
The report, Oregon Forest Ecosystem Carbon Inventory: 2001–2016 provides estimates for the status and trends of carbon in Oregon’s forest ecosystems and ownerships. During the study period, the state’s forests functioned as a net sink, sequestering more carbon than was lost through harvest, wildfire, or conversion to other land uses. Carbon stores increased at a rate of 30.9 ± 7.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. That’s equivalent to the annual emissions from 6.6 million passenger vehicles, give or take 1.6 million cars.