Special Report No. 08-05: The Greenhouse Gas and Carbon Profile of the U.S. Forest Products Sector

An analysis of the carbon stocks on industry-owned timberlands, essentially all of which are managed under sustainable forest management principles, suggests that between 2000 and 2005 these lands may have been small net sources of carbon dioxide, with carbon stocks declining by the equivalent of approximately 11 Tg carbon dioxide equivalents (eq.) per year, or about 0.1% per year on a land base of 2.5 Pg C, not including soil carbon. The industry obtains wood, however, from many sources besides its own land, and over this same period forest ecosystem carbon stocks on all private timberlands (including industry-owned timberlands) increased by 129 Tg carbon dioxide eq. Small increases and decreases in carbon stocks on industry-owned timberlands are expected as land owners adjust harvesting and restocking rates to account for market conditions, forest age class distributions, and other factors.