Bipartisan Policy Center looks for carbon solutions for forests and farms

On Capital Hill lawmakers are building a bipartisan agenda to find carbon solutions for farmers and forests.

Farmers, ranchers, and forest owners are in a unique position when it comes to climate change. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, the group has launched the Farm and Forest Carbon Solution Initiative. The initiative’s direct, Robert Bonnie, states, “We’re also going to have to think a lot about outreach. Outreach to large and small landowners, and specifically tribes, beginning farmers, minority farmers, and other folks. We’re going to have to think about specific resources to make sure everybody can play here.”

“There’s the price for their commodity and these ecosystem services creating public benefit for every one of us because it’s how those landowners are choosing to manage. Some of that may happen as capitol outlay and that’s why the program through NRCS is critically important... we should want to partner with that to ensure that source of security, reliability will continue to be there,” Karen Ross, the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture, states.

Natural carbon removal by farm and forest lands is emerging at a critical component of legislative efforts to address carbon emissions and its effect on the environment. Dave Tenney, with the National Alliance of Forest Owners, says that each year some 2 billion tress are planted, helping with the natural sequestration of carbon. “We need policies that will set a level playing field, so that everyone can participate... We should be encouraging rather than discoursing participation.”

The BPC is hoping the federal government will step up and provide market incentives to encourage growers’ active participation in lowering their carbon footprint.

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