The state has rejected an interesting proposal to change the way the huge, 146,000-acre Connecticut Lakes Headwater Tract of forest in northern New Hampshire, saying that a plan t o emphasize getting paid for keeping trees upright to store carbon takes away too much of the forestry that is the traditional economic benefit of the Great North Woods.

InDepthNH has the whole story here.

Aurora Sustainable Forestry, which is in the carbon-credit business, needed approval from New Hampshire because the site is covered by a conservation easement. The rejection was based on arguments economic, not environmental.

“Aurora’s plan is to extract maximum value from this property without maintaining the promise of economic benefit to the local community.

“Perhaps one can try and argue that carbon credits are simply a different type of forest product…the difference is that the fee owner is the sole financial benefactor. Extracting value for itself is very different than maintaining economic opportunity for the greater community that has been protected by the easement with the agreement of continued timber harvesting at a level we have seen throughout the history of the property,” said  Sarah Stewart, commissioner of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

I’ve got to say, this is a tough one. Keeping the forest industry intact is an important part of maintaining the health of the northern woods – and that requires cutting trees to generate income for all that machinery, labor and fuel. At what point is it too much cutting?

Pin It on Pinterest