Maine: Largest east coast carbon sink?

“The Maine woods represents the largest potential carbon sink on the
Eastern Seaboard,” says Jonathan Carter, a former Green Independent
gubernatorial candidate and director of the Forest Ecology Network.
The idea of using forests to counter global warming is gaining
currency as corporations try to find ways to offset their carbon
emissions by contributing money to mass tree plantings or protecting a
tropical rainforest.

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Bruce Kidman, a spokesman for the Nature conservancy in Maine, says the idea has taken hold with governments around the world.  “The Nature Conservancy is working with countries as diverse as Brazil and Boreno on programs that look at how to reduce the effects of deforestation and degradation of forests worldwide. That’s where the biggest bang for the buck is going to come, I think, in the international arena, when you come to sequestering carbon and keeping it in the trees ain tentinaoitnal arean..whne you come to sequestering carbon and keeping it in the trees on the ground;”

As for the local proposal, Kidman says his organization has met with
Carter but has not taken a position on his idea. Carter’s proposal
faces several challenges. First, and foremost, the initiative could
cost millions each year, and there is no federal or state money
currently available for such an effort. And the plan still has to win
over landowners. “I think we’re interested in it but we’re skeptical
whether it can work and really benefit landowners,” says Tom Doak,
Executive Director of the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine.

He says there are more than 100,000 smaller landowners with as little
as a few acres of land up to a thousand or more. Most of them, he
says, would be interested in reducing the impact of carbon emissions.
But he worries that qualifying for credits might prove more of a
headache for landowners than a benefit, based on the proposals he’s
seen out there.

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