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Calculating forest offset credits under the California Forest Offset Protocol is heavily dependent on data from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and on methodologies developed by the USFS. The USFS data include both archived data and continuing data compilations. They include both published and unpublished data. The driving data source for calculating forest offset credits is, in fact, the U.S. Forest Service. The Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program (USDA Forest Service 2016) within the Forest Service, employs a multi-phase inventory of U.S. forest attributes, with each phase contributing to the subsequent phase. To quote from the FIA web site: “The Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program of the U.S. Forest Service provides the information needed to assess America’s forests. As the Nation’s continuous forest census, our program projects how forests are likely to appear 10 to 50 years from now. This enables us to evaluate whether current forest management practices are sustainable in the long run and to assess whether current policies will allow the next generation to enjoy America’s forests as we do today. FIA reports on status and trends in forest area and location; in the species, size, and health of trees; in total tree growth, mortality, and removals by harvest; in wood production and utilization rates by various products; and in forest land ownership.” USFS historic and continuing data and methods compilations are integral to the calculations in the ARB offset protocol and many are directly linked from the California Air Resources Board web site (California ARB 2015a).
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California ARB. Compliance Offset Protocol U.S. Forest Offset Projects, California Environmental Protection Agency, Air Resources Board. 2015b. http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/protocols/usforest/forestprotocol2015.pdf. Accessed 25 June 2015.
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Row C, Phelps R. Wood carbon flows and storage after timber harvest. In: Sampson RN, Hair D, editors. Forests and global change, Forest management opportunities, vol. 2. Washington, DC: American Forests; 1996. p. 27–58.
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Smith JE, Heath LS, Skog KE, Birdsey RA. Methods for calculating forest ecosystem and harvested carbon with standard estimates for forest types of the United States, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, NE Research Station, General Technical Report NE-343. 2006.
USDA Forest Service. Forest Inventory and Analysis National Program. 2016. http://www.fia.fs.fed.us/.
Woodall CW, Heath LS, Domke GM, Nichols MC. Methods and equations for estimating aboveground volume, biomass, and carbon for trees in the U.S. forest inventory, 2010. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-88. 2011. p. 30.
- Role of Forest Service Data and Methodologies
Tatyana B. Ruseva
- Chapter 7