Regional Forester's Honor Award - Excellence in Science and Technology
United States Department of Agriculture, 2014
Contributors: Keith Stockmann, Nathaniel Anderson, Sean P. Healey, Daniel Loeffler, Jesse Young, Edward Butler, Chris Garrard, Kenneth Skog, James Morrison, and J. Greg Jones
Global forests capture and store significant amounts of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. When carbon is removed from forests through harvest, a portion of the harvested carbon is stored in wood products, often for many decades. The Forest Service must accurately account for carbon flux associated with harvested wood products (HWP) to meet national greenhouse gas monitoring commitments and climate change adaptation and mitigation objectives. Specifically, Regional Foresters are required to report yearly how they are addressing climate change via the Climate Change Performance Scorecard. One of the more challenging scorecard elements is the need for a baseline carbon assessment (Element 9) at the forest unit level that includes HWP carbon. The team nominated for this award worked continuously over a three year period to address this challenge head-on with a diverse mix of publications, presentations and tools. They integrated the latest climate science and national-level carbon accounting protocols to address management needs and develop a standardized approach for estimating carbon stored in HWP from the National Forests. After painstakingly collecting historical harvest data back to 1906, they applied the protocol to Region 1 as a whole, and then developed carbon assessments for each forest in the Region. The team went on to complete HWP carbon assessments and companion reports for all regions in NFS.