Michigan DNR First In The Nation To Begin Carbon Credit Program
A new nationwide project is starting right here in Northern Michigan at the Pigeon River Country State Forest near Vanderbilt. The DNR and Bluesource, LLC are teaming up to restrict carbon credits to help reduce the carbon foot-print.
“It’s pretty exciting because this is something that other States are looking at,” said Scott Whitcomb, Senior Advisor for Wildlife and Public Lands.
Michigan’s forest’s provide clean air & water, scenic spots for recreation and wildlife habitat. With this new program, some of those forests will help eliminate carbon credits.
So, what is a carbon credit?
“A carbon credit is essentially worth one ton of carbon dioxide emissions from things like a power plant,” said David Price, Manager for Forest Planning & Operations for the DNR.
The DNR will work with Bluesource, LLC to sell these carbon credits to companies to offset their carbon footprint. By doing so, it will give companies the option to offer a more natural-energy source to their customers. The first buyer of these credits in this project is DTE. They have agreed to buy all of the carbon credits generated from forests during the first ten years of the program.
“Carbon has been described as virtual commodity because it’s stored in trees,” Whitcomb said. “It’s something you see it’s in the tree, but you’re trading that value on a marketer.”
A single tree can absorb up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year. By the time the tree is 40 years old, it can store one ton of carbon.
“DNR is contracted with a project developer company called Bluesource. Bluesource takes a lot of detailed measurements and measure’s how much carbon is being stored in the trees… and then that calculation is then converted to credits, which can be sold to corporations,” Whitcomb said.
The pilot project takes place on over 100,000 thousand acres of the Pigeon River Country Forest.