What are the requirements for my land?

Before getting started, see if your property meets the requirements for a forest carbon project.

Landowner starting online application

To be eligible for a project with Forest Carbon Works, landowners and the forest property must meet the following criteria when you apply.

You can also take our qualification quiz to see if your property meets the basic requirements.

If you have questions regarding the eligibility of your forestland, please contact Forest Carbon Works before you apply.

 

The property must contain at least 40 acres of forested land.

Forestland must support, or can support, at least ten percent tree canopy cover.

The property must be privately owned.

Federal, state, or municipally owned land is not eligible for participation under Forest Carbon Works. Likewise, land held under a federal public easement is not eligible.

The property must be located in the United States.

Specifically, within one or more of the lower 48 states and parts of southeastern Alaska. Other areas of Alaska and all of Hawaii are excluded.

Landowners must enroll all forestland.

This includes all non-contiguous forestland and forestland in other areas. Forestland is real property that supports, or can support, at least ten percent tree canopy cover.

This prerequisite applies to all co-owners listed on the deed of the property. Accordingly, all landowners are required to sign attestations at the time of enrollment.

Landowners must be willing to limit harvesting.

At Forest Carbon Works, we promote long-term forest conservation, which goes hand in hand with carbon sequestration. In order to ensure forests are maintained for the long term, harvesting may be limited, but still allowed.  We believe a well managed forest is a healthy forest.  We will work with each landowner personally, to make sure their forestry goals and management plan work with a potential carbon program. Any past or future harvesting plans will need to be shared with your Membership Advisor to ensure alignment of harvesting and your carbon project. Our goal is to both conserve healthy forests for the long-term and to find financial solutions for landowners to make conserving their forest a reality.

Landowners must be up-to-date on their property taxes.

All due taxes must be paid at the time of membership application. Payment status of property taxes is confirmed with the county assessor’s office.

Landowners may not lease timber rights on their property.

As with the prerequisites on enrolling all forestland above, all landowners are required to sign attestations at the time of enrollment.

Commercial harvesting must be legally allowed on the property. If commercial harvesting is legally required on the property, the harvest schedule should be flexible.

Some conservation easements limit harvesting, many do not.  Please let your Membership Advisor know if you have a conservation easement.  We will review it to see if it is compatible with a carbon project. If you are enrolled in a tax incentive program and are required to harvest on your property, we will need to review the harvest schedule to see if a project is still possible. A more flexible schedule makes the possibility of a project more likely.

Contact a Forest Carbon Works Membership Advisor or email inquire@forestcarbonworks.com if you are unsure about the terms of your conservation easement in this regard.

Landowners may not enroll property that was previously listed as a verified forest carbon project.

Although highly unlikely, if the property was previously included in a verified forest carbon project, such as through the now defunct Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), then that property is not eligible.

What if…?

Unsure if you qualify based on these criteria? Here are some common questions about land requirements:

 

I inherited the family forest from my parents. My brother and I are listed on the deed as the owners. However, my brother doesn’t want anything to do with carbon credits. Can I still enroll?

As every owner of the family forest must sign an attestation with Forest Carbon Works and it is unlikely that your brother would do so, you are probably not eligible for membership in Forest Carbon Works.

 

My family has founded a Limited Liability Partnership to take ownership of the forest property that we want to enroll. Outside of the partnership, I own an additional 220 acres of property which contains some forest. Do I need to enroll my personal property in order to be eligible for membership?

As the landowner is a Limited Liability Partnership and the partnership does not have an ownership interest in your 220 acres of personal forest property, you do not have to enroll your personal property to be eligible for membership. To clarify, membership will be given to the Limited Liability Partnership and not specifically to you or your family members.

 

Occasionally we cut living and dead trees by hand for firewood and sometimes we sell some of our firewood to our neighbors. Are we eligible for membership in Forest Carbon Works even though we have harvested trees?

As the harvesting of firewood does not appear to be for the purpose of income generation, but for personal use, you are eligible for membership in Forest Carbon Works if you and your property meet the other prerequisites. Agreed upon removals of firewood may occur during each year of membership with Forest Carbon Works.

 

Am I eligible if my property is enrolled in a state tax program or current use program?

From our experience, most property tax or current use programs will work with a carbon project. Since we allow some harvesting during our projects, you will most likely be able to fulfill the obligations of your program.  In some situations, you may need to amend your current forest management plan, notably the harvest schedule. In the unlikely event that a carbon project wouldn’t work with your plan, you could withdraw from the state program.

Contact a Forest Carbon Works Membership Advisor or email inquire@forestcarbonworks.com if you are unsure about the terms of your management plan and required harvesting.

 

Can I place a conservation easement on my property in conjunction with a forest carbon project?

Yes. You can place a conservation easement on your property (or part of your property) in conjunction with a forest carbon project. We can help facilitate this process during project development. While creating a conservation easement in conjunction with a project is possible and encouraged, some conservation easements in place prior to a project may not work well with a carbon project. 

Please reach out to a Forest Carbon Works Membership Advisor or email inquire@forestcarbonworks.com if you have any questions about conservation easements.

 

Why do some conservation easements not work with carbon projects?

Depending on the details and restrictions (especially if management/harvesting are forbidden) created by the conservation easement, a property may be disqualified from hosting a carbon project. This is because it must be demonstrated that project implementation enriches the property’s carbon stocks more than what would be expected under the status quo.

If a property already has a conservation easement in place which limits/forbids management or harvesting, then implementing a carbon project would not enrich the property’s carbon stocks more than the easement already in place. There may be some flexibility if the easement was put in place under a year from the start date of the carbon project.

If a property already has a conservation easement in place which allows management and harvesting, most likely there won’t be a problem implementing a project.

Please note that this is not always the case, but it often is. If you are unsure, submit an application anyway and provide a copy of the easement. The Membership Advisor assigned to your case can determine your eligibility further.

 

Can I place a conservation easement on my property after I have started a forest carbon project?

Yes, you can place a conservation easement on your property after project commencement. We can help facilitate this process during project development.

Our land is federally recognized tribal land. Does this make it ineligible for a carbon project through Forest Carbon Works?

Tribal land is eligible for participation in Forest Carbon Works, although it does require a limited waiver of sovereign immunity which must include a consent to suit by ARB in California state courts. Tribal lands are defined as the following: land that is owned by, or subject to, an ownership or possessory interest of the Tribe; land that is “Indian lands” of the Tribe, as defined by 25 U.S.C. §81(a)(1); or land owned by any person, entity, or Tribe, within the external borders of such Indian lands.  More information can be found here.

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