Restoring Sustainable Forests on Appalachian Mined Lands for Wood Products, Renewable Energy, Carbon Sequestration, and Other Ecosystems Services Quarterly Report
Description: 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, West Virginia, and Virginia. 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. Soil samples were collected from each plot to characterize the sites prior to treatment. Baseline soil carbon was determined for each of the eighty-one plots. Fertility analysis of soil samples was completed and these data were used to prepare fertilizer prescriptions and the pre-designated plots were fertilized. We also evaluated economic-based policy instruments that are designed to mitigate the reforestation burden borne by the owner of reclaimed mined land. Results suggest that although profitability of reforestation of these previously reclaimed mine lands may be achievable on better sites under lower interest rates, substantial payments would be required to reach ''profitability'' under many conditions.
Date: August 4, 2004
Creator: Burger, J.; Galbraith, J.; Fox, T.; Amacher, G.; Sullivan, J. & Zipper, C.
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