Sealaska Will Protect Thousands of Acres of Forest in the Tongass for Over 110 years
Sealaska received approval from the California Air Resource Board (CARB) to designate 165,000 acres of forested land for use as a carbon bank. The Sealaska Native Alaskan Forestry Project is the first Alaska project to be issued carbon offset credits. It’s also the second largest amount of credits issued to a single organization.
In mid-March, Sealaska received approval from the California Air Resource Board (CARB) to designate 165,000 acres of forested land for use as a carbon bank. The Sealaska Native Alaskan Forestry Project was issued approximately 11.0 million carbon credit offsets (CCOs) by CARB. The Air Resource Board is the “clean air agency" for the California government and manages California’s cap and trade and carbon credit offset program. Finite Carbon helped broker a three-year purchase agreement of the credits between Sealaska and a compliance entity.
The Sealaska Native Alaskan Forestry Project is the first Alaska project to be issued carbon offset credits. It’s also the second largest amount of credits issued to a single organization. As a protective measure for any possible natural-causing carbon destruction, like forest fires, the total number of sellable credits is approximately 9.3 million.
Sealaska set aside 165,000 acres of land for the project. Trees from the lands will store--or bank--carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through a process called carbon sequestration.
Sealaska’s carbon project came about as a result of discussions and input from our local Southeast Alaska communities about the future of our forestry operations and maximizing the full potential of our people. We listened to their needs and concerns and believe that the carbon bank is an innovative solution that creates value for our Sealaska shareholders now and into the future.
The project includes sensitive areas such as watersheds that serve as important sources of drinking water for our traditional communities in Hydaburg and Hoonah and critical habitat for salmon and other wildlife throughout Sealaska lands. We chose watersheds and fish habitat areas because we are committed to the health and productivity of our ocean waters and marine environment, which reinforces our new strategic direction.
The proceeds from the carbon credits will be invested back into Sealaska shareholders, businesses and communities for generations to come. Sealaska is in a financially strong position. We will utilize our carbon credit proceeds, our growing cash from our business successes, as well as the strength of natural resource and investment income to strategically plan to increase the value we deliver to our shareholders.
For 110 years and multiple generations, the acres will be untouched by commercial harvesting. Sealaska shareholders will still have access to all of Sealaska’s land for subsistence and natural harvesting including the lands in the project. Sealaska can still access the lands for cultural needs, such as logs to donate for totem poles and other community cultural projects. Sealaska can still pursue non-timber development opportunities.
Sealaska will still maintain an active and healthy working forest on our remaining timberlands. Harvesting timber sustainably produces net income to Sealaska and jobs and economic activity within the Southeast Alaska region. Our vision is for present and future generations of shareholders to have the ability to benefit from our land. Sealaska will continue to find opportunities to create the greatest financial, community and cultural benefit from Sealaska lands.