My Northern Wisconsin

Covering Ashland, Iron, Lincoln, Oneida, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Vilas Counties



In December 2021, Price County entered a contract with Bluesource, now known as Anew, and this was covered by My Price County, which can be read at this link.  The agreement, shown below along with its terms of use, was entered into so that Price County would receive carbon credits.  Carbon credits are a way for companies to offset their carbon footprint.  Areas like Price County, with a  large amount of trees, are ideal locations for such programs, because companies can get credit for trees that are not cut down, and the area is expected to receive a payment.

Certain things cannot be done with the trees in the program, such as excess cutting.  However, according to County Administrator Nick Trimner, this stipulation has not affected Price County.  "County forest management has been in conformance with our forest management goals, balancing both timber revenue and carbon sequestration," he said.

As for the payment portion, Nick stated payments will start coming in during the fourth quarter of this year, at the earliest.  He continued, "There was no expectation that the county would have received any carbon payments at this point.  The project is currently in the verification stage of development and credits cannot be issued and sold until the verification is complete and the carbon registry approves the release of the credits."  He added, "Funds will be delivered within 30 days of credit issuance and sale.  If credits are sold after Month 24, payments will simply come within 30 days of the sale."

Some supervisors were concerned about moving the first payment from 18 to 24 months but Nick advised, "Eighteen months was always projected as an optimally efficient credit issuance timeline, but it was not unexpected that issuance might require more time.  Project development timelines are dependent upon a variety of factors, including the availability of third party verifiers and registry staff for review and approval of the project.  Due to a dearth of accredited third party verifiers in the marketplace, many projects are seeing longer timelines between project commencement and credits being issued simply because the projects are waiting in the queue of the verification body to review and approve them."  When asked if this delay would affect any current or future programs where the county was going to use carbon credit funding, he replied, "There currently is no disconnect between expected payment timing and the anticipated application of carbon funding."

Bayfield County, the Michigan DNR, and the counties of Oneida, Sawyer, Douglass, Burnett, and about eleven other counties were mentioned as being in the program in December 2021.  Some residents told My Price County that Bayfield County has not received any funding and their program was not going as expected.  We asked Nick if that information was true.  He said, "I am not certain about the state of development progress for other counties."

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My Price County then reached out to Jason Bodine, Forestry and Parks Administrator for Bayfield County, and he responded that "Developing a carbon project was always presented as a lengthy process, taking anywhere from 18 to 24 months to complete.  In our experience, this process has taken a little longer than expected, primarily due to very high demand for the development of carbon projects but limited capacities/resources by carbon contractors to meet that demand.  It is my understanding that Bayfield County was the first public agency to commence with a forest carbon project in Wisconsin.  As such, it is not a surprise to hear that other county agencies, who enrolled much later than us, have yet to receive payment, as many are still in the early to middle stages of project development.  Our project is now in the final review phase by ACR.  Our experience with ANEW, (previously called Bluesource), has been very positive.  I don’t have any concerns to date, and I’m not anticipating any issues with regard to future payments.  I anticipate those first payments to arrive later this year."

My Price County further heard that a county in Michigan has not received funding, though we could not find reference to this on the Internet and, therefore, did not know which county to contact to see if it was true.  Nick stated, "I am not aware of any such project in Michigan.  I contacted our carbon developer, Anew, about this point, and they also had no knowledge of such a project, though they are engaged in a carbon project with the Michigan DNR that has run smoothly and has generated substantial carbon revenue."

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Henry Schieneback of The Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA) responded that "GLTPA is not against carbon credits per say, but we are opposed to the misconception that a carbon credit makes the environment cleaner....Many times, GLTPA has asked carbon credit advocates what is the formula for how many parts per million the air became cleaner or how many tons of greenhouse gas emissions were removed from the air because of the sale of a carbon credit?  The answer is always the same; there is no formula because the sale of a carbon credit does nothing to clean the air.  That stated, GLTPA has nothing against the sale of a carbon credit as a forest product if the sale does not impede future forest management.  Basically, a carbon credit is nothing more than a scheme manufacturers buy into to be able to say their manufacturing process is carbon neutral whereby purchasers of their product feel good about helping the environment become cleaner.  To simplify,  companies buy carbon credits, consumers pay for them, and the environment does not get any cleaner.  Carbon credits are merely an exchange of wealth.  Nothing more, nothing less."

In the December 2021 informational meeting, Nick recommended setting aside $1 million in case Price County wanted to pull out of the program and buy back the credits.  However, he stated, "The county has no interest in pulling out of the carbon program and such an action is not under consideration."  He further stated, "The county managers remain enthusiastic about the carbon project."

.pdf   Carbon Development and Marketing Agreement, Redacted Version, Re-submitted 11-15-2023, 388.pdf (Size: 2.3 MB / Downloads: 25)

.pdf   Carbon Credits Terms of Use.pdf (Size: 1.01 MB / Downloads: 199)

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(This post was last modified: 11-15-2023, 04:00 AM by My Northern Wisconsin.)