RESTORING SUSTAINABLE FORESTS ON APPALACHIAN MINED LANDS FOR WOOD PRODUCTS, RENEWABLE ENERGY, CARBON SEQUESTRATION, AND OTHER ECOSYSTEM SERVICES Page: 3 of 28
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The overall purpose of this project is to evaluate the biological and economic feasibility of
restoring high-quality forests on mined land, and to measure carbon sequestration and wood
production benefits that would be achieved from forest restoration procedures. We are currently
estimating the acreage of lands in VA, WV, KY, OH, and PA mined under SMCRA and
reclaimed to non-forested post-mining land uses that are not currently under active management,
and therefore can be considered as available for carbon sequestration. To determine actual
sequestration under different forest management scenarios, a field study was installed as a 3 x 3
factorial in a random complete block design with three replications at each of three locations,
Ohio (Figure 1), West Virginia (Figure 2), and Virginia (Figure 3). The treatments included
three forest types (white pine, hybrid poplar, mixed hardwood) and three silvicultural regimes
(competition control, competition control plus tillage, competition control plus tillage plus
fertilization). Each individual treatment plot is 0.5 acres. Each block of nine plots requires 4.5
acres, and the complete installation at each site requires 13.5 acres. The plots at all three
locations have been installed and the plot corners marked with PVC stakes. GPS coordinates of
each plot have been collected. Tree survival, height and diameter were measured after the first
growing season. There were significant treatment and treatment x site interactions. A STELLA*-
based model helped us develop insight as to whether it is possible to differentiate the permanent
SOC from the C contained in the labile forms of SOM. The model can be used for predicting the
amount of C sequestered on mine lands, and the amount of C that is expected to reside in the
mine soil for more than 1,000 years. Based on our work, it appears that substantial carbon
payments to landowners would be required to reach "profitability" under present circumstances.
However, even though the payments that we examine could generate non-negative LEVs, there
is no guarantee that the payments will actually cause landowners to reforest in practice. It is
landowner utility associated with forestland profitability that will be the determining factor in
actual conversion-utility that likely would include cash flow timing, amenities, and even the
credit position of the landowner.
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Burger, James A.; Galbraith, J.; Fox, T.; Amacher, G.; Sullivan, J. & Zipper, C. RESTORING SUSTAINABLE FORESTS ON APPALACHIAN MINED LANDS FOR WOOD PRODUCTS, RENEWABLE ENERGY, CARBON SEQUESTRATION, AND OTHER ECOSYSTEM SERVICES, report, November 29, 2004; United States. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc780576/m1/3/: accessed April 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.