On July 14th a group from the WBCA leadership team accompanied members of Washington Environmental Council (WEC) to visit the Nisqually Land Trust carbon credit project in the Mount Rainier Gateway Reserve.
The project gained wide media coverage when Microsoft announced that they were acquiring 37,000 carbon credits as part of their $20 million-a-year initiative to offset their global carbon emissions.
The project is registered under the most rigorous system available in the United States: California's Offset Protocol for U.S Forests, and we wanted to learn more about what this means.
Joe Kane, Executive Director of the Nisqually Land Trust, and Paula Sweeden, Forest Policy Specialist at WEC provided a wonderful overview and answered our many questions. We learned about the demands of developing and verifying a project, and how managing a forest for increased carbon stocks has co benefits for water, fish and wildlife and local economies.
The Nisqually is the only river in the country with its headwaters protected by a National Park and its delta protected by a National Wildlife Refuge. Threatened and at-risk species found in the Nisqually watershed include Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, northern spotted owls, marbled murrelets, bald eagles, northern goshawks, pileated woodpeckers and peregrine falcons.
Thank you, Microsoft, WEC, and Nisqually Land Trust for your true climate leadership! You are an inspiration to us all.