After reveling in the incredible beauty of Redwood National Park this week -- through Ken Burns' lovely series on our national parks -- I was pleased to see that the largest private forest owner in California is entering the carbon markets with a deal to preserve redwoods and other trees. Sierra Pacific Industries will sell credits for soaking up greenhouse gases to power companies and investors. The deal was reported today by Reuters.
It's encouraging to see that some commercial forest owners are now seeing financial benefits of creating "offsets" to pollution that can be sold to factories and energy companies.
A company spokesperson told Reuters that Sierra Pacific and environmental markets company Equator LLC's Eco Products Fund will develop a 60,000 acre project to sequester 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide, roughly equivalent to 200,000 to 300,000 cars' pollution in one year.
Sierra Pacific is a third-generation, family owned forest products company.
California's cap-and-trade system will begin in 2012 unless it is pre-empted by a plan at the federal level.