Carbon Supply from Changes in Management of Forest and Range Lands in Shasta County, California

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Brown, Sandra, Petrova, Silvia, Dushku, Aaron, Winsten, Jonathan, Pearson, Timothy, Kadyzewski, John
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This report summarizes two classes of activities to sequester carbon in terrestrial ecosystems
through changes in management of lands: afforestation of rangelands and forest fuel reduction
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from wildfire. These opportunities, earlier analyzed at the
state level for the California Energy Commission, are here evaluated for Shasta County using
additional information and finer-resolution data. For afforestation of rangelands, methods for
assessing forest suitability, carbon accumulation potential, and total costs of afforestation are
presented, resulting in estimates of total carbon supply at various price points for 20, 40, and 80-
year time periods, and the areas and locations within the county of the least to most expensive
carbon sequestration opportunities. For forest fuel reduction, the report provides a Geographic
Information Systems (GIS)-based analysis of the areas, locations, and carbon stocks of forests in
Shasta County at high to very high fire risk; the ranked suitability of these forest lands for
reducing fuel loads and removing fuel to biomass energy facilities; and more detailed analysis
of one particular fuel reduction prescription, including areas accessible, potential biomass yield,
and costs. First-order approximations are presented addressing the question of whether
emissions reductions from fuel treatment, if valued at commonly used prices of CO2 credits and
compared to baseline emissions from wildfire, might be sufficient to allow the sale of carbon
credits to fill the gap that often exists between high costs of treatment and low product value,
leading ultimately to more acres treated. A more complete assessment of net carbon benefits
from forest fuel reduction in Shasta County will be undertaken as part of the West Coast
Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership – Phase II.


Brown, S., S. Petrova, A. Dushku, J. Winsten, T. Pearson, and J. Kadyzewski. 2007. Carbon Supply from Changes in Management of Forest and
Range Lands in Shasta County, California. California Energy Commission, PIER Energy-Related Environmental Research. Retrieved from