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Carbon Credit Conference set for Sept. 28 in East Texas

An upcoming conference promises to walk landowners through four steps to making a profit from selling carbon credits, said a Texas Cooperative Extension expert.

The Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana Carbon Credit Conference is scheduled Sept. 28 at the Texas A&M University System Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Overton.

""We are going to bring in people who are in the know, nationwide, who are either involved with the carbon registries or the carbon credit exchange," said Dr. Eric Taylor, Extension forestry specialist. "These are the people who are making the rules and regulations. And they're going to be discussing how carbon credits might possibly be a viable market for landowners, not just forest landowners but all landowners."

Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana landowners are currently being approached by carbon-credit brokers offering to pay them not to harvest their timber until 2011. To the uninitiated, it may sound like a scam, but the basic business concept is legitimate, Taylor said.

Behind the concept is the consensus by the scientific community that manmade production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is tied to global climate change. In the U.S., control of these gases remains voluntary. However, for numerous reasons, Taylor said, many industries that release carbon dioxide will need to purchase carbon credits to offset their emissions.

The Carbon Credit Exchange, based in Chicago, acts like a stock market to facilitate trading of theses carbon credits. "Carbon aggregators" act like brokers to facilitate the process with landowners.

"Well-managed forests happen to very good at sequestrating carbon from the atmosphere," Taylor said.

But there's also potential for all types of land, including pastures, rangeland and unused crop land, to sequester carbon, he said.

The conference will take landowners through four basic steps.

- How landowners can find a carbon aggregator in their area.

"We hope to have all the major carbon aggregators from the three-state area in attendance," Taylor said.

- How to meet the basic requirements for a contract.

"Landowners will need to provide maps and supporting documents that prove eligibility," Taylor said. "We'll walk them through all the basics."

- How to quantify the amount carbon on their land.

"We'll show several ways that people will be able to take advantage of the carbon market through real-world examples," he said.

- How to do the contract paperwork and other issues to actually enroll.

"The final step is to work with an aggregator or associate aggregator to complete the offset contract and forestry offset enrollment worksheet.

Registration for the all-day event is $30 per person and will include lunch. To register online with a credit card, go to

Or they may pay with cash or check at the door on the day of the event. Credit cards cannot be accepted for at-the-door registration.

For more information, contact Judy Cole at 903-834-6191.

The conference is a cooperative effort between Extension, the Texas Forest Service, Stephen F. Austin State University, the Texas Forestry Association, Pineywoods Resource Conservation and Development Inc., the Louisiana State University AgCenter, the Texas Farm Bureau and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.

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