BOULDER CREEK — Surveying will begin next month on about 1,600 acres of land in Boulder Creek, Zayante and Olympia to find out how much carbon those forests contain, with the San Lorenzo Valley Water District hoping to fetch a princely sum in the state’s newly launched cap-and-trade program.
Earlier this month, the district’s Board of Directors approved spending $45,000 on the “carbon sequestration” project, which will be headed by the Alameda-based forestry consulting firm Buena Vista Services. Work is expected to begin within the next 30 days, and “by the fall, we’ll have the inventory number locked down,” said Jim Mueller, district’s general manager.
That number will be certified by an independent third party, and soon after, the district will be able to enter the cap-and-trade auctions.
During a meeting to discuss the project several months ago, Joe McGuire, a principal with Buena Vista Services, estimated the district’s lands contain up to 850,000 tons of carbon, and that those credits can be sold for a total of $550,000 during the next 12 years.
Betsy Herbert, the district’s environmental analyst, said the team will take samples from trees in different sites, and that data will then be crunched to get an estimate on how quickly the forests will grow during the next 12 years, she said. The study will be updated in 2025, and every 12 years thereafter, she said.