Date of Award

Fall 2010

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources: Forestry

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Mark Ducey

Second Advisor

Scott Ollinger


Interest has heightened for forest managers to account for the impacts of management activities on forest carbon sequestration. This study was designed to assess the feasibility of developing estimates of WMNF forest carbon based on the available information. The yield curves, inventory data and resulting carbon projections were dependent on a number of assumptions and subject to various sources of error and bias. Thus, they should not be relied on as definitive estimates and forecasts, or used as a basis for policy recommendations. Under the specific approaches used in this study, forest carbon stocks appear to be accumulating in the WMNF and are expected to continue to increase at a decreasing rate into the foreseeable future. Underlying assumptions and inventory data had large influences on the estimates of forest carbon accumulation over time. As additional information becomes available and enhancements to the inventory and monitoring program take place, a level of confidence may be placed in CDS-derived carbon estimates, but until that time the reliability of the estimates will remain in question. Presently, the output from COLE provides an accurate estimate of forest ecosystem carbon to known levels of precision that can be used to register with the U.S. Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program, 1605(b).