Carbon Rho is driven by a profound mission – advancing America’s journey towards net zero carbon emissions. With a wealth of expertise in environmental sciences and the energy industry, Carbon Rho is on a mission to facilitate the transition. Their approach is twofold, empowering landowners to capitalize on sustainable land use practices, such as forestry and agricultural residue management, while concurrently offering businesses a platform to secure high-quality carbon removal credits needed as part of their broader portfolio of net-zero emission solutions. Carbon Rho’s vision is to become a trusted advisor concerning the management of natural capital for landowners, leveraging their inherent ecological value, and establishing themselves as the trusted source of carbon credits for corporate clients committed to a science-based, net-zero emission strategy.
Project Description & History
Carbon Accretion and Riparian Benefits (CARB) is a group forestry-based carbon capture project spanning over 15,000 acres (12,183 forested acres) of land across Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. The goal of the project is to provide a mechanism to aggregate tracts of land with similar forest types to create larger conservation corridors. The pilot project began in 2022 with the enrollment of 14 initial landowners. In 2023, over 140,000 hardwood seedlings were planted, resulting in an estimated 30,000+ metric tons of CO2e sequestered annually (almost 1MM tons in the project baseline). A baseline carbon inventory report was submitted in July 2023 and initial credit issuance was approved in October 2023. Credits are currently being “minted” and strategic marketing efforts have begun.
Generating revenue via land use practices that enhance carbon capture in natural sinks provides an incentive for adjacent landowners to participate in the project while encouraging broader adoption of conservation practices as new tracts are enrolled annually. Through these annual enrollments, the project will continue expanding to link forested areas to form conservation corridors along the Red River, its tributaries, and their adjacent wetlands.
CARB is designed to be complementary to the USDA Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), which includes Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) that have established forestry-based conservation practices on easements across the project region. In response to historic regional deforestation, these easement programs have effectively replanted or protected native hardwood forests, thereby preventing the conversion of these working lands to non-agricultural uses. The resulting patchwork of conservation easements presents an opportunity for aggregation of both ACEP lands and adjacent tracts to create a broader habitat protection project. Beyond these ACEP easements, a wide variety of managed and unmanaged timber does exist in the region; however, this pilot project is strategically focused on the following forest types:
Reforested agricultural lands
Native bottomland mixed hardwood stands
On-going afforestation, reforestation, and revegetation (ARR) opportunities
Commercially managed forests adjacent to the forest types above
Grouping these forest types that exist in similar settings to the ACEP easements encourages the expansion of conservation corridors over time. Properly stratifying each participating tract added to the project over time will allow for increased statistical confidence in the mean carbon inventory and accrual rates within each strata of the group project. The CARB project development leverages revenues generated from the growing voluntary carbon credit market and connects privately owned tracts to protect and enhance riparian habitats.
Participating landowners receive 60% of net credit revenue and the payment structure incentivizes owners to improve newly planted, recently converted or existing bottomland hardwood stands into more resilient stands, which contain highly durable stocks of forest-based carbon and provide many other co-benefits.
Much of the acreage enrolled in CARB provides sensitive habitat for federal species of interest (endangered species, proposed endangered species, and endangered species in recovery), including the Bald eagle, Pearlymussel (turgid blossom), Indiana bat, and Tricolored bat.
The estimated total annual ecological service value provided by lands in the CARB project is between $250-$500 per acre. Hence, the forests and working lands enrolled in the pilot-scale version of CARB presently provide over $5,200,000 in annual ecological services to the project region. The CARB pilot program serves as a model, creating a landscape-level framework to incentivize landowners to proactively manage traditionally unmanaged timber to restore high-quality resilient native hardwood stands. Through working alongside existing USDA conservation easement programs, CARB also provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate collaborative efforts that can achieve regionally beneficial outcomes.
Want to embark on a similar project? Use the resources below to support your conservation journey:
Texan by Nature Landowner Guide – This guide offers resources for residents who are interested in implementing voluntary conservation practices on their property. There is a wealth of information available for understanding conservation practices. This guide does not fully encompass every avenue a landowner can take, but provides the foundation for landowners to consider when initiating conservation practices on their land.