Frank Zufall, Sawyer County Record
April 13, 2022
The Sawyer County Record, reports on Bluesource’s project proposal to maintain carbon growth over Sawyer County’s 115,000 acres of county forest.
In a couple of years, Sawyer County could have a new source of annual revenue from its county forests, $1 million-plus, and not one more additional tree outside the 15-year plan for harvesting would have to be cut.
Bluesource, a company with offices in Utah, California, Maryland and Calgary and Toronto, Canada, is proposing to Sawyer County a 40-year contract to document and maintain carbon growth over Sawyer County’s 115,000 acres of county forest that Bluesource in turn could sell as carbon credits.
The contract would generate nearly $14 million in its first 10 years.
Trees convert carbon dioxide in the air to oxygen via photosynthesis and also store the carbon. A carbon credit market encourages keeping that carbon in the tree versus being harvested and eventually being released back into the air. It is one measure to address climate change that is being attributed to higher carbon dioxide levels, a greenhouse gas that can be created from manmade emissions, such as burning coal or driving a gasoline-powered vehicle.
Other neighboring counties — Bayfield, Iron, Price, Washburn and Rusk — also have been approached by Bluesource and have signed on.
The additional revenue for Sawyer and neighboring counties with their large county forests could be a game changer to these counties, many of which are already strapped with levy caps on how much taxes they can levy.
Rusk County Forester Jeremy Koslowski discussed Rusk County’s experience with Bluesource. He noted Rusk County is still within the 18-month window when no revenue is projected.
He also noted that Bluesource has hired foresters to measure plots in Rusk County forests.
“They are measuring trees to the tenth of an inch,” he said. Right now, Koslowski only sees an upside working with Bluesource.
“We’re (will be) getting paid for the good work that we’ve been doing,” he said. “We are promising doing the good work that we’ve done because we are certified and we operate sustainably, and we have this excess carbon that is building up in our forest, and this is a way to monetize that fact or additionally monetize that fact.”