Carbon Mitigation

Natural Landscapes Absorb Carbon

The key to slowing climate change is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The land can help: natural landscapes like forests absorb and store carbon dioxide as they grow. Natural landscapes absorb 14% of annual U.S. carbon dioxide emissions and could capture as much as 20% annually. The Trust for Public Land is leveraging this natural capacity by replanting native forests and conserving America’s most carbon-rich forest landscapes.

Restoring the North American Amazon

Carbon-rich bottomland forests once covered 20 million acres around the Lower Mississippi River, but only 4 million acres of this “North American Amazon” remain. We are partnering with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, GreenTrees, Walton Family Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation to replant these native forests on marginal agricultural land. Each acre of restored bottomland forest captures 320 tons of carbon dioxide—the forests we have replanted at Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge will capture 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide over the coming decades.

Working in Carbon Markets

Carbon offsets can help fund conservation while slowing climate change. These projects reward landowners with marketable carbon credits in exchange for conserving their forests from development and managing them sustainably. We are helping interested private landowners to assess the potential for carbon credits on their lands and to complete the complex analysis and documentation needed to enter carbon markets. This creative financing approach will help conserve some of America’s most carbon rich forestlands.

Our Work in Action

  • Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge: The Trust for Public Land has partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reforest native bottomland hardwood forest on more than 8,000 acres of marginal agricultural land along this important tributary to the Lower Mississippi. The restored forests will sequester more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide as they grow while reducing flood risks for communities and renewing habitats for birds and other wildlife.
  • Northern Sierra Nevada: The Trust for Public Land, as part of the Northern Sierra Partnership, has conserved more than 50 square miles of the Northern Sierra—a forested landscape as rich in carbon dioxide as many of the world’s tropical rainforests. Our ongoing efforts here will conserve additional forests from development and support carbon-friendly sustainable management.