CHARLESTON, S.C., Oct. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Finite Carbon and Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) today announced the successful development and registration of the Brosnan Forest Improved Forest Management carbon project. The project meets the Climate Action Reserve's forest project protocol and resulted in more than 282,000 eligible carbon offset credits at initial registration. The project is being transitioned as an early action project for the California Air Resources Board greenhouse gas emissions trading program.
Carbon offset credits are issued for projects that significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Each credit represents one metric ton of carbon dioxide-equivalents avoided by the natural process of trees absorbing carbon dioxide. The credits can be sold to companies or individuals interested in offsetting their emissions. Proceeds from the eventual sale of the carbon credits may be used to further promote the sustainable management and conservation of wildlife and forestry resources at Brosnan Forest.
Owned by Norfolk Southern and its predecessor railroads for some 180 years, Brosnan Forest includes more than 14,400 acres in South Carolina's Lowcountry and is the largest privately protected property in the state. Brosnan Forest is a significant forest in the ACE Basin, one of the largest undeveloped estuaries on the East Coast. Norfolk Southern permanently protected the land from development in 2008 when it donated a conservation easement on more than 12,000 acres to the Lowcountry Open Land Trust.
Brosnan Forest includes 6,200 acres of longleaf pine forest, one of North America's most threatened forest ecosystems. Longleaf forests provide unique habitat for a rich diversity of plants and wildlife. Brosnan Forest provides a safe harbor for 82 colonies of endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers, the largest population of such birds on a single tract of private land. To help restore this important ecosystem to its historic U.S. range, Norfolk Southern is planting an additional 2,000 acres of longleaf pine at Brosnan Forest over the next decade.
"Finite Carbon's forestry team and project development expertise guided the Brosnan Forest carbon project from conception to successful completion," said Blair Wimbush, NS vice president real estate and corporate sustainability officer. "The project perfectly aligns with Norfolk Southern's sustainability efforts, which include improving the fuel and energy efficiencies of our locomotive fleet, lowering energy use at railroad facilities, and investing in reforestation efforts to restore longleaf pine forests and American chestnut trees to their native ranges and planting 6 million trees on 10,000 acres in the Mississippi Delta."
"It's gratifying to work with Norfolk Southern to develop a forest carbon project for such a unique property," said Finite Carbon President Sean Carney. "We'd also like to thank Norfolk Southern's long-time forest consultant, Milliken Forestry Company. Their direction of forest operations at Brosnan Forest for more than 30 years has contributed to the forest's restoration and helped Norfolk Southern benefit from the California offset market."
Forestry practices at Brosnan Forest were recently audited and certified as meeting the requirements of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® forest certification program. The Brosnan Forest project is one of 10 Improved Forest Management carbon projects that Finite Carbon currently is developing for the California Air Resources Board carbon offset program.
Finite Carbon is America's leading developer of forest carbon offsets. Combining unparalleled project development experience with extensive carbon market knowledge, Finite Carbon's in-house team of forest carbon experts offers a single-source solution for creating and monetizing carbon offsets and the most comprehensive forest carbon project development and commercialization service in the US. The company is headquartered in Wayne, Pa., and has offices in San Francisco, Ca., Cherry Creek, N.Y., Williamsport, Pa., and Tallahassee, Fla.
Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation's premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway Company subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal, automotive, and industrial products.
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SOURCE Norfolk Southern Corporation