Restoring bush will result in carbon credits, cash

  • May. 12, 2006 5:00 a.m.

By Heather Ramsay–Old Massett economic development officer John Disney says there is money to be made restoring long-ago logged riverbanks. No, this isn’t a new forestry fund, or watershed restoration grant scheme. Mr. Disney’s project is all about climate change and the Kyoto Protocol.
He has been working on the idea for three years and to understand what he’s trying to do, one needs to first know something about carbon credits.
The concept involves buying carbon units, mainly in tonnes, to offset the C02 generated by industrial activities.
Canada committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to six percent below 1990 levels by 2010 when the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997. But instead, the emissions are now 35-percent higher than 1990 levels.
Mr. Disney says his plan is to restore the bush to a more pristine state by repairing riparian zones now covered with thick alder. This, he says, will produce carbon credits saleable on the open market.
Experts believe that the carbon credit system could cover up to 75-percent of Canada’s emissions and would be the simplest way to meet targets.
Mr. Disney proposes to sell the carbon credits, from what he calls Canada’s only forestry-related carbon credit project, to Canadian companies and to the government to reduce Canada’s emissions.
Mr. Disney says old growth, the natural state for the riparian zones to be in, sequester more carbon than the alder choked riverbanks do. By grooming and managing the alder, he says he can speed up the return to old growth by 110-150 years.
Regulations now ensure these areas will never be logged again, so the result will be a net decrease in carbon in the atmosphere.
“Alder takes a little bit of carbon out, but a spruce tree sucks up a lot more,” he says.
Due to the sensitive nature of the sites, he plans to groom the areas on a metre-by-metre basis and carefully brush around as many growing conifers as possible.
He is still trying to get the necessary permits to be able to implement a pilot project in a riparian area on crown tenures, but he projects the project will be worth millions in a few years. He says one tonne of carbon credits are worth about $25 on the Canadian market.
“We will be creating wealth from planting trees and repairing areas affected by man,” he says.
Besides turning Haida Gwaii into a net carbon sink, Mr. Disney is motivated to create jobs for local residents. He believes this labour intensive industry will employ 20 people.
Mr. Disney is looking for funding to implement the pilot project as well. He needs $4.5 million to get his project to the point where he has a saleable product. He thinks this will take one year.
“The ecosystem is so vibrant,” he says, meaning the project will get results faster than in other areas.
He says he has been working with a number of scientists on the idea, but has yet to convince the provincial regulators that the project is sound. A similar project began in Clayoquot Sound in 2003, but never got off the ground.

Just Posted

RCMP searching for missing Lax Kw’alaams resident

Public urged to help in search for 42-year-old Lawrence Maitland

Queen Charlotte highlights the year that was in 2018 Annual Report

A number of works projects were completed, as well as improvements at the youth centre

Boon Docs, life as a rural doctor tickles the funny bone

Haida Gwaii’s Caroline Shooner draws observations from the medical field

President and CEO leaving Coast Mountain College

Burt will say goodbye to CMNT come September

Marathon day on Haida Gwaii

Totem to Totem race looks to set another participation record

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Coast Tsimshian sign historic stewardship agreement

Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla plan to work as one to preserve traditional lands

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Most Read