Carbon project in marketing phase

Courtesty photo: Charlie Ott
Courtesty photo: Charlie Ott

The carbon sequestration project—with its potential for over $5 million in revenue—is moving to its next phase.

This phase will involve the marketing of the carbon credits, with revenue possible by the end of this year. The Brand of Natural Resources meanwhile continues work on the inventory aspect of the project.

The tribes are considering the marketing of carbon credits for 24,050 acres of higher-elevation timber land. This is conditional use land that is not part of the harvestable timber base on the reservation.

The Tribal Council last week unanimously approved a request from Ventures to fund the carbon marketing phase. Ventures’ Geo Visions and Natural Resources have been working on the carbon sequestration project for a few years now.

Ventures is planning information meetings on this project, as there are points that need to be clarified, said Ventures interim executive director Don Sampson.

First, the tribes are not making an irrevocable commitment of reservation natural resources, Sampson said.

Council members said they hear from members that the “100-year commitment” is a concern with carbon sequestration.

As a standard, the marketing of the carbon credits involves a 100-year management plan for the acreage involved.

But the market provides ways to discontinue the program, if some future Council wishes to do so, said Pi-Ta Pitt, Warm Springs Power and Water Enterprises operations assistant, and Ventures board vice chair. Some revenue from the program can be set aside for this specific purpose, he said.

And the Confederated Tribes are taking a very conservation approach to the carbon sequestration market, Sampson said. The acreage involved is modest, and is already identified in the Integrated Resources Management Plan for the type of forestry management needed for by carbon sequestration.

The current management of the land is an expenditure for the tribes. The carbon sequestration project will fund the management, creating some jobs, and bring in additional significant revenue to the tribes, estimated conservatively at $5.5 million.