Forest Carbon 101
How much carbon does the tree outside your window store, and how does that compare to the carbon we emit when we travel or power our homes?
From the windswept sandplains of southeastern Massachusetts to the vast rolling forests of the Berkshires, from our fertile farmlands to cities built along mighty rivers, the Massachusetts way of life is tied to our diverse lands.
Massachusetts forests provide an estimated $2.9 billion per year in life-essential services — filtering our air and water and absorbing carbon from our atmosphere. The natural beauty of the Commonwealth provides the cornerstone of a $24 billion-a-year tourism industry. And the quality of life and economic security supported by nature make Massachusetts an ideal place to live and do business.
Of course, these lands offer critical habitat for natural communities as well.
Our forests have experienced a remarkable comeback since being cleared for pasture and farm fields and are a critical link in the vast, green ecological highway we call the Appalachians. And our coasts are internationally recognized as biodiversity hotspots, offering habitat to rare plants and animals, and migratory stopovers for myriad bird species.
Now these critical lands face threats from unsustainable development and climate change that could be more permanent — and more devastating — than anything they’ve had to face in the past.
But together, we can meet these challenges.
Our Land Conservation Solutions
The Nature Conservancy has a vision to protect the forests, coasts and special lands that support people’s lives and livelihoods in Massachusetts and create a vibrant quilt of healthy communities throughout the Commonwealth.
Putting this plan into action now will help Massachusetts weather the changes ahead and ensure that our lands continue to support a magnificent network of life.
Q&A with Andy Finton – Andy Finton, director of conservation science in Massachusetts, talks about invasive insects, climate change and our strategies for keeping forests healthy.
Interview with a Forester – See how responsible forestry can help keep our woods healthy.
Protect Watcha Woodlands – You can help us act on a rare opportunity on Martha's Vineyard.December 07, 2011