American Municipal Power, ODNR join forces for carbon offset project in Shawnee State Forest

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COLUMBUS — American Municipal Power, Inc. and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry will join forces to reforest approximately 25 acres within the Shawnee State Forest in southern Ohio.

“This project represents another step along the path toward a sustainable economy,” said ODNR Director Sean Logan. “Development and conservation can be done cooperatively, and in ways that benefit both. We thank AMP and look forward to working with them in the future.”

Joint effort

The growth and survival of 17,500 seedlings planted in designated plots within Shawnee State Forest will be tracked and verified in order for American Municipal Power to obtain carbon offsets for the project. This is the first activity in what is being described by officials as an ongoing joint effort to develop similar carbon offset projects.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to move forward on this ‘win-win’ opportunity for both AMP and the ODNR Division of Forestry,” said Marc S. Gerken, president and CEO of AMP. “The development of cost-effective carbon offset projects such as this will be essential to keeping down the costs of mitigating the possible effects of climate change regulation.”

Carbon offsets are tradable commodities, which can be created when entities undertake actions that reduce or “offset” carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.

Measurements

American Municipal Power will use scientifically based protocols, such as those established by the Chicago Climate Exchange, of which the company is a member, to track, measure and verify the project’s performance.

“Working in partnership with AMP provides the necessary support to return those 25 acres of field back to forest,” said David Lytle, state forester and chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry. “Without their support we would not be able to do this project. This also makes for a great learning experience for members of the Ohio Woodlands Job Corps who will assist in planting these trees.”

Agreement

Under the agreement, the power company will purchase the seedlings and work with Division of Forestry staff to prepare the site for planting. The trees will be planted in fields located along Forest Road 1 near Pond Lick Lake and Forest Road 14 near Odell Creek.

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