Carbon, Biomass, Forests, Environmental Change


In attempting to meet the aims of the 2015 Climate Action Plan to reduce countywide CO2 emissions by 40% over 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% by 2050, Multnomah County has sought to better understand the role county forest lands play in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, by conducting a forest carbon inventory and projection of carbon flux under a "business as usual" scenario for aboveground biomass. This report relies on two estimates for the 5 forest carbon pools recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), these include estimates published as part of the Oregon Forest Ecosystem Carbon Inventory (2001-2016) (Christensen et al. 2019) and a variety of more granular data sources to estimate baseline carbon storage across a greater diversity of policy-relevant land management and ownership categories. The report looks at management options as they apply to various forest carbon pools, potential carbon storage under various management regimes.

This analysis found that forestlands compose up to 46.2% of the County's total area; of this area, nearly 78% is already conserved or protected. According to the Oregon Forest Ecosystem Carbon Inventory, these forests contain more than 75.46 Million MTCO2e, equivalent to almost 10 years of countywide emissions in 2017 and worth more than $4.15 Billion. The same report estimates that forests in Multnomah County sequestered up to 619 ± 204 MTCO2e per year in all 5 pools, worth more than $34 Million. The largest pools in the county are contained in the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit (BRWMU) and Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (NSA) which, combined, contain up to 60% of the county’s total carbon stocks. Maintaining and enhancing existing carbon stocks is vital to meeting regional and state climate goals.



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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