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Rural Forest Market bill could open door on carbon markets

Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to help rural foresters access carbon markets.

The Rural Forest Markets Act provides loan guarantees to create and sell forest credits, encourages voluntary practices to remove carbon and brings innovation and investment into rural areas.

Co-sponsor Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, announced plans for the bill during the recent climate change committee hearing saying the legislation will, “Support responsible tree planting and climate-smart forest management as tools to address the climate crisis.”

Indiana Republican Senator Mike Braun, and co-sponsor, has been a tree farmer since the late ’80s.  During the hearing, Braun testified he believes farmers could get a better investment from woodlots that are being underutilized.

“Many people that own woodland view it as something for recreation, not something that you get a great return on your investment with or that you would be able to use as a tool to affectively sequester carbon,” he says.

Stabenow, along with Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman, has also introduced bipartisan legislation which will plant 1.2 billion trees on national forests.

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