Home > Forests and Climate Change
Sustainable forest management can play a significant role in global greenhouse gas mitigation efforts. That’s because forests convert atmospheric carbon dioxide to wood and soil organic matter as they grow. In managed forests, such as Sierra Pacific Industries' (SPI), some of that wood is converted into wood products where it can remain stored for long periods.
Battle Creek Watershed (803 KB)
One hundred and fifty miles north of Sacramento is one of California's most promising watersheds for sustaining and enhancing the natural breeding cycle of the endangered steelhead trout and Chinook salmon.
The Battle Creek Watershed is on the east side of the upper Sacramento River and has been identified by federal and state agencies as their highest priority for restoring critical salmon, trout, and other fish populations native to the Sacramento River.
The $128 million restoration project is a collaboration of a dozen public agencies, private companies and environmental advocacy organizations, and restores about 50 miles of fish habitat in Battle Creek and its tributaries.
Multi-Agency Report on Battle Creek (2,959 KB)
Professional staff representing four Departments and two State Agencies completed a study of the effects of even-age timber harvesting on water quality in the Greater Battle Creek Watershed. Over a five day period in September 2011, the Task Force assessed the potential for water quality impacts from 132 sites they determined to have a high risk for sediment delivery to surface waters.
Overall, the Task Force saw no significant direct water quality impact related to clearcut harvesting in the assessment area. Most observed timber-harvest-related water-quality impacts were found to be associated with publicly and privately managed roads. These roads are used for all types of timber harvesting in the watershed, whether clearcutting, selection, or some intermediate silvicultural method.
The Carbon Cycle (148 KB)
Overall, for the United States, the climate benefits provided by forests are substantial. Currently, it is estimated that U.S. forests sequester about 10 percent of the industrial emissions of greenhouse gases. This equates to over 200 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents per year.
Sierra Pacific Industries has conducted a peer-reviewed study examining the rate of carbon sequestration on its managed forest lands. That report concluded that our active forest management stores carbon at almost twice the rate of an unmanaged forest. This process of rapid carbon sequestration demonstrates another benefit of SPI’s active forest management.
This represents the first progress report for grant agreement #G0770005 between the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) and Placer County. The project grant, “Biomass Removal on National Forest Lands,” was proposed and sponsored by Placer County in a partnership with the USDA Forest Service (USFS), Placer County Air Pollution Control District (PCAPCD), and Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI). Representatives from the SNC participated in the implementation planning discussions and the drafting of the communications plan for this project.
The primary objective of the Forest Biomass Removal on National Forest Lands project is the removal of woody biomass waste material from national forests located within the SNC service area. Placer County proposed that the woody biomass material be removed as a byproduct of fuels treatment/timber management activities and that this byproduct is recovered as fuel for renewable energy generation rather than its current fate which is pile and burn or leave on site.