Sequestering carbon in living forests helps stabilize climate. Carbon is stored in roots, stems, branches, leaves, fruits, and soil. As forests grow and evolve to maturity they become more resilient and stable, and more capable of influencing and stabilizing climate. Forests increase the capacity of a site to support life, building on itself, stabilizing the site and the biota. The rich diversity and layering of plants and leaves in a relatively mature forest ecosystem have many species arranged in a structure that apportions the available solar energy as effectively and efficiently as possible. Mineral nutrients are conserved and recirculated, offering opportunities for more life.
Photosynthesizing / carbon sequestering forests are necessary for the survival of humans on this planet.
Forests sequester carbon and help stabilize micro and macro climates by:
- Photosynthesizing sunlight through green leaves
- Absorbing carbon dioxide from the air
- Accumulating carbon in standing biomass – growing tall canopies for more efficient photosynthesis
- Evaporating water through leaves to dissipate heat, thus improving photosynthetic efficiency and enhancing carbon sequestration
- Recycling water vapor across valleys and mountains increasing precipitation in marginal areas thus improving photosynthetic productivity and carbon sequestration in those areas
- Minimizing soil erosion with layers of leaf litter and growing interlocking root systems that help stabilize seasonally unstable hills and mountains thus protecting carbon sequestering processes in these areas
- Adding nutrient-rich fallen leaves to soil which becomes humus enabling forest soils to store more water and carbon than most other soils
- Building climax communities that are stable, self-regulating, self-healing and resilient
- Maintaining high efficiency, low entropy processes: matter and energy are moved around as little as possible to minimize entropy (waste and disorder), information is moved around as much as possible to maximize synergy (efficiency and cooperation), to minimize entropy (waste and discord)
- Providing energy for biosphere system maintenance and stability.
Weather extremes – temperature, moisture, and wind – are moderated by forests. The environment for growing food is more stable in forests than in open spaces.
Forests are threatened by climate change – warming temperatures, prolonged dry spells, high winds. Forests can be managed to significantly reduce the risk of wildfire and thus enhance carbon sequestration.
- Lower branches of trees are trimmed to reduce the risk of ground fire climbing into the crowns of trees. Branches can be cut up to nine meters from the ground.
- Heavy wood is cut for domestic heating. Any heavy fuel left on the ground is pulled away from the trunks of live trees.
- Lite woody debris on the ground is composted with “EM1.” EM1 is a compost accelerator, and we brew it ourselves.
- Compost from human manure can be added to forest soil. This adds nutrients, enhances soil water holding capacity, and enhances carbon sequestration.
- Some trees like willow and silver wattle are fire resistant. They can be planted in damp areas and gullies to make green fire breaks.
- Fire breaks – narrow pathways – can be maintained along ridge lines.
- Lite burning of litter and undergrowth in some areas helps reduce fuel loads.
- Human activities in forests should be limited during severe weather events.
- Forest workers and forest community members should be educated in the art of back burning.
- All community structures built in forest areas should be fireproof. Small fire shelters for emergency use can be scattered through the forest. Aircrete, aka Foam crete, is fireproof and low cost.
- Carbon sequestration can be verified, and management activities can be monitored with drones and thermal imaging cameras.
Sample Conservation Covenants
Purpose of covenants
- Protect and conserve the disease resistant food producing fruit and nut trees and shrubs growing within the native forests, wetlands and meadows of this property including hazel nut, walnut, heart nut, pecan, hican, cherry, apple, pear, hawthorn, sweet oak, chestnut, blueberry, gogi berry, elder berry, and honey locust
- Protect and conserve the well ordered and highly efficient photosynthetic processes of the forests, wet lands, and meadows of this property
- Protect and conserve the processes of carbon sequestration and long term carbon storage in the forests of this property
- Conserve the habitat of the wildlife that inhabits this land
- Conserve our biological relationships / spiritual connections with this land
- Manage the land and forests for maximum leaf area index (area of sun facing leaves per square metre of soil surface), maximum photosynthetic assimilation (Gross Primary Productivity), maximum community respiration, and maximum evaporative cooling *
- Manage for maximum sequestration of carbon, biological diversity, and community stability *
- Emulate natural processes, manage to select and use low entropy options
- Organic gardening and growing of fruit and nut trees, development and maintenance of nut and berry nursery
- Trimming of lower branches of trees to reduce risk of forest fires
- Use of property for conservation education
- Evolution of a bio-dynamic permaculture cluster of families residing on this property and working in the above activities
- Road construction, use of heavy machinery
- Use of Toxic chemicals
- Use of ATVs
- Use of firearms