American Policy Makers / Local Governments

Carbon sequestration is one of the most significant science and policy issues of our time, as well as one of the most divisive, as various influential stakeholders around the world look to influence the mediation of carbon via forest sequestration.  Here are some of the major policy makers on a Federal and State level involved in this debate here in the U.S.:

U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The USDA manages the Forest Service; the National Agroforestry Center and the National Conservation Resource Service.  Since 2004, the USDA has invested over $2.4 million in pilot projects for conservation investment with a focus on forest sequestration projects.  Additionally, it recognizes state efforts by incentivizing their management efforts through its Forest Land Enhancement Program (“FLEP”).  This program focuses on sustainable forest management, and is one of many that the USDA has financed in order to enhance carbon sequestration.

U.S. Department of the Interior.  This department oversees the Bureau of Land Management.  The BLM manages our national lands and oversees the logging/harvesting quotas of forest timber by private companies.

The USDOI also oversees the U.S. Department of Energy.  As a major funding source, it works in conjunction with the USDA on many related projects.  One of the most significant projects is the establishment of new accounting rules and guidelines which was developed for the voluntary greenhouse gas registry and established in the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (Section 1605(b)).  It is called the Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program, and it encourages both private and public entities to report their greenhouse emissions.

Department of Natural Resources.  Each state has its own DNR and manages its natural resources forests being a significant part.  Each state works on various projects with the USDA’s Forest Service, one of which is the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program, which collects census data and assesses the general state of our national forests.