Bruce County signs landmark forestry partnership deal

The County of Bruce has announced a new and innovative partnership with Bluesource Canada that will make the County part of the solution to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Bluesource Canada is the leading carbon offset developer in North America and is recognized as such by clients and industry peers in the Environmental Finance rankings.

It has the forestry and market expertise to help evaluate options for forest owner across North American carbon markets and project types, and develop and monetize the offsets on their behalf.

Warden Mitch Twolan stated that “The County is the first public sector forest owner in the Province of Ontario to respond to this global climate crisis in this way, and we are proud of our meaningful response to the international rally cry from the 2015 Paris Accord”.

The County has a long history of sustainable forest management. In the early to mid-1900’s, the County began purchasing privately owned lands that were devastated by over harvesting or land clearing .

These marginal lands were replanted mainly with conifers (evergreens) and managed to promote a natural forest condition, consisting of both hardwoods and conifers.

Twolan noted “Since the inception of the program, and through proven sustainable management practices, the County is the proud steward of 12,800 acres of vibrant forests”!

In 2017 Bruce County achieved Forest Stewardship Council certification through the Eastern Ontario Model Forest .

FSC is an international, membership based, non-profit organization that supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.

The County was introduced to Bluesource Canada through the Eastern Ontario Model Forest membership service “Community Forest Offset Program”.

The EOMF has partnered with Bluesource Canada to help members such as Bruce County navigate through the complexity of carbon credit development, verification and marketing.

Astrid Nielson, General Manager at the EOMF said “The signing of the agreement between Bluesource Canada and the County of Bruce is a significant landmark for the EOMF and an opportunity for other Community Forests in Ontario”. She added that “Aside from helping to combat climate change, the development of carbon offsets will also contribute to a host of other ecosystem benefits such as clean drinking water, healthy wildlife habitats and recreational opportunities. These benefits will be realized while maintaining a vibrant forest economy”.

Trees take in carbon dioxide from the air and capturing it - a process that helps to slow climate change.

Forest owners such as Bruce County, who go beyond common practice forest management and commit to a high standard of sustainable growth of the forestry inventory over the longer-term, can get credit for this additional commitment and offer credits that can be purchased by carbon emitters.

The partnership shall see the County of Bruce and Bluesource bring the sale of carbon credits to market through project advocacy, project assessment and screening, project development validation and verification, registration, marketing sale and monetization.

By partnering with Bluesource Canada to develop the forest carbon offset opportunity, the County of Bruce also hopes to demonstrate to other private and public land owners the value of meeting a high standard of sustainable forest management.

Jamie MacKinnon, VP of Environmental Solutions at Bluesource Canada Said “We are thrilled by Bruce County’s leadership and we look forward to working with the County to realize the forest carbon offset opportunity.

We are also confident that the carbon market can provide many more landowners with a monetary incentive that meaningfully rewards land owner commitments to sustainable forest management.”