Who Qualifies?

Accepting Members from Sea to Shining Sea

Forest Carbon Works sells carbon offsets to firms doing businesses in California, but forest owners in any of the 48 continental states of the US and parts of southeastern Alaska may be eligible to participate and receive member benefits.

Land Trusts


Landowners’ participation in Forest Carbon Works allows them to capitalize on the benefits of forestland management. By becoming members of Forest Carbon Works, landowners can receive yearly payments for the maintenance of carbon stocks in their forest. By preserving and increasing the quality of the forest, responsible landowners ensure that carbon dioxide is continually withdrawn from the atmosphere.

For landowners who recognize the importance of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, (and for those who are already using best-practice forest management), Forest Carbon Works presents an opportunity to engage firsthand in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, while receiving compensation. For landowners who may be unaware of the importance of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, Forest Carbon Works opens the gate to learn about and take part in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to fulfilling this socially responsible role, landowners receive annual money awards and public accreditation for their efforts, as well as cutting-edge technical support and development services throughout the entire project.

Land Trusts

Many land trusts are established on the principles of ecological conservation and commitment to long-term resource protection, ideals Forest Carbon Works shares. Working together, land trusts and Forest Carbon Works not only complement one another in accomplishing these missions, but bolsters the growth and success of each other.

Conventional methods of developing a carbon offset project are usually expensive, limiting participation to larger landowners or groups with considerable financial resources. Forest Carbon Works was designed to open the market to projects that, under traditional practices, wouldn’t be feasible. With Forest Carbon Works, minimal investment is required to develop a project.

Membership in Forest Carbon Works also allows for land trusts to be influential leaders of conservation in their regions. With larger land holdings than most forest owners, land trusts act as anchors of a regional project, enabling nearby small private landowners to also be rewarded for their stewardship. To promote your conservation interest, land trusts that apply for membership in Forest Carbon Works can be listed in our online directory.


Before You Apply

To be eligible for membership in Forest Carbon Works, landowners and the forest property must meet the following criteria upon applying for membership:

  • The property must be located in the United States.

    Specifically, within one or more of the lower 48 states and parts of southeastern Alaska. Other areas of Alaska and all of Hawaii are excluded.

  • Landowners must enroll all forestland.

    Forestland is real property that is at least ten acres in size and that supports, or can support, at least ten percent tree canopy cover.  This prerequisite applies to all co-owners listed on the deed of the property.  Accordingly, all landowners are required to sign attestations at the time of enrollment.

  • Commercial harvests have not occurred on the property within 10 years prior to the enrollment date, certain exceptions may apply.

    A commercial harvest is the intentional removal of trees for the purpose of generating income or achieving a specific management objective.  Forest Carbon Works confirms this prerequisite has been meet by examining historical aerial photography at the time of membership application relative to the date of the last reported harvest.  In some limited cases, to be determined after the time of tree measurement, a commercial harvest within 10 years prior to the enrollment date may be allowed.

  • Landowners must be willing to forgo harvesting for the first six-year contract period.

    Part of our value proposition is standardization to create access for small landowners to the carbon markets. In order to minimize complexity, landowners must be willing to forgo harvesting in the first six-year contract period. We believe that active management is important to maintaining a healthy forest, so we support harvesting in subsequent contract renewals. The first six-year period allows time to carefully plan harvests for the next period and to account for harvest impacts on your carbon stock.

  • Landowners must be up-to-date on their property taxes.

    All due taxes must be paid at the time of membership application.  Payment status of property taxes is confirmed with the county assessor’s office.

  • Landowners may not lease timber rights on their property.

    As with the prerequisites on enrolling all forestland above, all landowners are required to sign attestations at the time of enrollment.

  • Commercial harvesting must be legally allowed on the property, but must not be legally required.

    If harvesting is prohibited by an existing conservation easement, the landowner is not eligible for membership.  Likewise, if the landowner has a prior contractual obligation to harvest timber, the landowner is not eligible for membership.

  • Landowners may not enroll property that was previously listed as a verified forest carbon project.

    Although highly unlikely, if the property was previously included in a verified forest carbon project, such as through the now defunct Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), then that property is not eligible.

If you have questions regarding the eligibility of your forestland, please contact Forest Carbon Works before you apply.


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