Quantifying the Carbon Sequestration and Economic Potential of Natural Climate Solutions from Maine's Working Forests
Date of Award
Level of Access Assigned by Author
Master of Science (MS)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Additional Committee Members
The purpose of this thesis is to develop a dynamic, regionally integrated forest sector model framework to identify cost-effective forest management and carbon sequestration practices across Maine’s 17,000,000 acres from 2019 to 2119. We take a three-pronged approach, each with its own set of inputs, parameters, accuracies, and skill level requirements. To achieve this we first review a group of biophysical, spatial, and silvicultural studies in the northeast to determine changes and costs of forest carbon sequestration across different treatments and harvesting practices. This allows us to estimate sequestration above baseline, the cost of mitigation, and determine the strength of Maine’s forest carbon sink over various levels of implementation via landowner participation. Secondly, we analyze forest growth and yield projections (and subsequently carbon sequestration) across 6 different management practices from the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) and determine the net present value (NPV) of each pathway across 100 years. Lastly, we use the commercialized linear programming solver Woodstock to estimate total NPV to the point where harvest levels are maintained simultaneously with increasing forest carbon sequestration under different economic and policy conditions. In Woodstock,
we employ both a regimes-based approach (Model I) and a treatment-based approach (Model II). Combined, the three approaches create a range of carbon sequestration estimates and total NPV of timber harvests and carbon credits across harvest and area constraints. Both Woodstock models reveal that conducting harvests on stands well-suited to fast growth and recovery can use a mix of intensive, partial harvests, and thinnings can increase forest carbon stocking while also satisfying historical demand for harvested wood products over the long term. This integrated modeling approach will facilitate in developing a more precise forecast over a 100-year horizon, allowing us to determine the carbon price or policy incentive that minimizes the societal cost of increasing mitigation level from Maine’s diverse forest landscape.
Woodyard, Logan, "Quantifying the Carbon Sequestration and Economic Potential of Natural Climate Solutions from Maine's Working Forests" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3744.