Peterson, Thomas. D (Penn State University, Center for Integrated Regional Assessment, 3421 Andover Drive, Fairfax, VA, 22030; Phone: 703-691-2199; Fax: 703-691-2199; Email:


Development, Design And Full Life Cycle Analysis Of Forestry Climate Change Mitigation Options For The State Of Maine


T.D Peterson *, J.D. Kartez, J.E. Smith


In 2003 Maine Governor John Baldacci signed the nationís first state law (PL 237) requiring a state greenhouse gas mitigation plan with greenhouse gas emission targets and timetables. The act required formulation of consensus policy recommendations to the governor and legislature, including terrestrial carbon sequestration. Forestry actions were developed through a science intensive, stepwise process of joint fact-finding and joint modeling with stakeholders, a technical working group, and a special forest experts group (including the US Forest Service). The USDA Forest Service FORCARB2 carbon stock inventory was used for initial state inventory assessment and base case projections, and revised for state policy development based on technical work group and expert review. General revisions to FORCARB2 included technical updates and use of state specific data to replace regional estimates (for tree growth and soil carbon equations), data augmentation and new protocols for forest carbon accounts (for land use change, harvested wood products imports and exports), and the use of a consumption based inventory system (for post harvest biomass). A comprehensive menu of potential forestry mitigation options was developed by the technical work group, including three categories identified as priorities for analysis, including: 1) reducing the rate of forestland cover loss through growth neutral policies; 2) increased stocking of forested and non forested lands; and 3) commercial density management and thinning, with harvested biomass directed to biomass energy feedstocks and durable wood products. Full life cycle analysis was used to evaluate net carbon impacts of pre harvest and post harvest biomass. Results indicate significant potential for cost-effective, net carbon savings through carefully designed forestry policy actions, accounting for 17 percent of the overall state effort toward meeting legislative targets. Initial evaluations of similar measures in the Northeast Region suggest similar potential benefits and costs when scaled to available forest acreages. Additional policy research is recommended on the dynamics of carbon flux for developed lands, wetlands, extended forestry rotations, afforestation of non forested lands, building materials displacement, and biomass power generation technology.


Estimated GHG Reductions, Costs/Savings Of Maine Forestry Mitigation Options


State Forestry Mitigation Policy Option

Annual GHG Reductions In 1000ís MTCE

Annualized Dollar Costs Or Savings Per MTCE

Reduced Conversion Of Forestland To Nonforest Cover


$-23.75 (cost savings) - $21.85

Increased Stocking Of Poorly Stocked Forestlands



Early Commercial Thinning, Regular Light Harvests

239 - 332

$2.20 Ė $11.88