A new way to profit from ancient Alaskan forests—leave them standing

By Saul Elbein
National Geographic
February 6, 2020
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

They had all tried to quit the woods, and all of them had failed. One evening after a day’s work cutting old-growth trees in the Alaska rain forest, logger Sam Parker sits in the bunkhouse with two of his coworkers, and commiserates. …The money isn’t great, they agree, and the job is tough, the market for old-growth timber ebbing like a slow tide. And yet all agree it’s simply impossible for them to imagine doing anything else. …Sealaska and its trees are caught between two very different models of industrial forestry. …It’s an industry that, for all its emotional resonance to Alaskans, hangs by a thread. …But in the growing awareness of the climate crisis, and the emerging carbon markets that trade credits instead of living trees, Sealaska is striking a new path: making money by not cutting trees. 

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