March 1, 2024

NoMi to be home to nation’s first carbon credits program on state land

Pigeon River Country
By Lynda Wheatley | Aug. 28, 2021

Hot on the heels of the even hotter (and we mean that in a very, very bad way) climate report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is some cool Up North news: The nation’s first carbon-credits project on state forest land just got the necessary all-clear agreement to happen in Michigan’s “Big Wild,” aka our Pigeon River Country State Forest.

The pilot project — not-so-efficiently nicknamed the Bluesource/Michigan DNR Big Wild Forest Carbon Project — will leverage the carbon storage capacity of trees on 100,000+ sustainably managed acres of the forest to offer larger industrial gas companies an entire portfolio of carbon offset credits.

Fun fact: A single tree can absorb up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide a year (that’s a whole ton by time a tree turns 40!), and a single carbon credit equals 1 ton of carbon dioxide emission.

Another fun fact, DTE Energy, which will offer carbon offsets to its customers with significantly higher energy usage, has agreed to buy all the carbon credits generated from the Pigeon River Country State Forest during the first decade of the program. The estimated cost: about $10 million. Those payments to the state start in 2022 and will be directed to the state’s Forest Development Fund and the Fish and Game Fund for efforts like tree planting, forest infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.) and wildlife habitat improvements, recreation projects, and more. Search “Bluesource/DNR Big Wild Forest Carbon Project” at Michigan.gov to learn more.

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