The economics of carbon sequestration in western Oregon forests /
This study considered regional forest policies for sequestering carbon in existing forests in western Oregon. A model of log markets in western Oregon was employed to examine the impacts of forest policy changes on future carbon stock, harvests, and management activities. A carbon tax program, as a mitigation option for encouraging forest carbon sequestration, would lead to reduced harvest and increased carbon stock in timber inventory. Changes in the level of silvicultural investments vary by owner, depending on the nature of their initial inventory. In general investment under the tax is concentrated in regimes that establish faster growing plantations. Average rotation age increases, varying in extent across ownerships and site qualities. The carbon tax reduces both consumer and producer surpluses in regional timber markets. Producers are compensated by the carbon subsidies, except at low carbon tax levels. Estimates of the marginal cost of sequestering carbon in western Oregon private forests are shown to be within the range of costs for projects considering afforestation alone in some eastern regions of the United States. If the carbon tax system takes into account carbon in forest products and woody residue, the marginal costs of carbon sequestration rise substantially because of the trade-offs between carbon in the timber inventory and in product and residue pools. Raising timber harvest from western Oregon federal timberlands would cause a reduction in regional carbon flux in forests and forest products. Projections of harvests by ownership given a constraint or target for regional carbon flux show that there are significant opportunities for substituting timber harvest and carbon sequestration between federal and non-federal lands in western Oregon. A relatively small reduction in non-federal harvest would offset a substantial loss of carbon flux in federal timberlands. The same carbon flux levels obtained in the carbon target scenarios could be achieved if a carbon offset market were available for all owners including federal agencies. The marginal welfare cost derived from the shadow price of the carbon target constraint is the market price of carbon that could produce the same flux as the constraint. The analysis indicates that only modest carbon prices would be needed (< $15/tonne C) to maintain regional forest carbon flux at current (ca 2005) rates.
School:Oregon State University
School Location:USA - Oregon
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:carbon sequestration taxes forest products industry policy management
Date of Publication: