Forest Carbon Monitoring and Research

The Global Warming Solutions Act (Assembly Bill 32, Chapter 488, Statutes of 2006) requires California to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The initial AB 32 Scoping Plan established by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in 2008 included a forest sector target with a goal of maintaining the forest carbon sink with a net annual sequestration rate of 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMT CO2e) through 2020. The 2017 AB 32 Scoping Plan update proposed a GHG reduction goal of at least 15-20 MMT CO2e by 2030 in California’s natural and working lands, which includes forest land.

The responsibility for setting forest carbon policy to ensure the AB 32 forest sector goals are met lies with the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (i.e., the Board). The Board’s responsibility in meeting or exceeding the AB 32 forest sector targets was formalized in Assembly Bill 1504 (AB 1504, Chapter 534, Statutes of 2010).

The Fire and Resource Assessment Program (FRAP) develops an annual Forest Ecosystem and Harvested Wood Product Carbon inventory through collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (FS) Forest Inventory and Analysis Program (FIA), USDA FS Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW) and the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER). This inventory assists the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection in assessing whether the state’s forest carbon sequestration target is being met.

Program Updates

New staff to support FIA instensification