New partnership aims to reverse deforestation and global warming

One of California's giant coastal redwoods that's been cloned to save its genetic diversity, photo by Debra Atlas

One of California’s giant coastal redwoods that’s been cloned to save its genetic diversity, photo by Debra Atlas

On May 28th, two powerful entities came together to take on two serious climate-related issues and make a positive impact on our children’s future.

Planetary Emissions Management, Inc. and non-profit Archangel Ancient Tree Archive announced a partnership that will integrate innovative forest carbon measurement with environmental financial products along with the genetics of the largest trees on the planet.

Cloned giant sequoia and coast redwood saplings will be planted with groups of complementary tree species to explore resilience to climate change predicted for the area over the next 100 years. The approach will be replicated in diverse forest ecosystems in the US and around the world through our Forest Carbon Legacy Initiative. The first test of this unique technology combination will be conducted at Ocean Mountain Ranch in the Port Orford (Oregon) Community Stewardship Area, where the world’s first cloned champion coast redwood and giant sequoia grove was successfully planted in December of 2012.

David Milarch, Archangel Ancient Tree Archive’s co-founder, is an outspoken and passionate advocate of cloning and rehoming ancient “Champion” trees.

“What will you say when your grandchildren ask if you did anything to fight global warming and restore the Earth,” says Milarch. “We all need an answer to this question. Now is the time. Champion trees combined with new advanced technologies are the answer,” he remarked.

Planting trees to curb the rise of atmospheric CO2 has reached global consciousness and is universally accepted as a safe and practical way to restore nature by planetary citizens. Now, new emphasis is being placed on champion trees as symbols and attractors of new forest carbon accounting technologies and larger ecological and social features culminating in the design of customized forests to reduce the impacts of local climate change.

David Milarch - Archangel logoPEM CEO Bruno D.V. Marino added: “Climate change impacts on communities present a compelling case for widespread planting of selected tree species with cloned Champion trees–we have to think outside of the box to get ahead of extreme weather events that appear to be increasing in frequency and severity as a result of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.”

PEM is testing its patented large scale commercial forest carbon sensor system, which is capable of measuring the carbon sequestration dynamics of the experimental forest in relation to a variety of environmental factors. The PEM analyzer, under development, will quantify flux for three species of carbon dioxide, 12C, 13C and 14C, in forest air and use the data to create innovative verified forest carbon products for sale to the public. Recent studies suggesting that redwoods and sequoias are powerful sinks for CO2 even at ages of over 1,000 years point to needed research aimed at understanding the carbon metabolism of young champion trees and their potential for carbon sequestration going forward. The joint partnership between Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, Planetary Emissions Management and Ocean Mountain Ranch shows that collaboration across disciplinary boundaries to explore solutions to climate change is possible and needed to develop practical and economical solutions to climate change at the local level.

“The Ocean Mountain Ranch demonstration combines Archangel’s cloned giant trees with local species and PEM’s measurement technology to shape the forest of the future and while we stress this is an experiment, all species are natural and not genetically modified,” added Marino.

A 3,000 year old redwood propagated by Milarch and the Archangel team

A 3,000 year old redwood propagated by
Milarch and the Archangel team

This approach will be expanded across the US and the globe in ecologically favorable areas to assist the migration of the species during coming climate change. The project sheds light on options for state and county officials to consider the revenue potential for existing and future forestland based on new measurement to monetization approaches such as offered by PEM. The results of the planned experiment are expected to provide new data on the carbon sequestration capacity of forest mosaics including the very large champion trees such as coast redwoods and giant sequoias.

Terry Mock, Ocean Mountain Ranch’s project manager, is overseeing the development of a sustainable carbon-negative project to demonstrate how landowners can be provided with incentives to re-grow old growth forest.

“Developing champion tree ‘super groves’ and implementing the kind of monitoring and financial technology that this experiment will test is fundamentally essential in order to scale up global reforestation,” said Mock.

This innovative project is the beginning of a vital experiment. The data drawn from it will be a key factor towards future reforestation projects.

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