Forest Timber and Carbon
The value of timber production and carbon storage in Alberta’s forests is assessed using a model that simulates forest growth as well as forest harvest activities. As the forest grows over time, more timber volume is generated, and some of this volume is then converted to timber production through harvesting activities.
Timber harvest accounts for the cost of harvest operations, transporting timber to a mill for processing, and the revenue earned by forestry companies from selling forest products like lumber and wood pulp. As the forest changes through growth and harvesting, the amount of carbon stored in forested lands adjusts dynamically. The model can capture how decision-making can affect timber production values on the landscape and how those decisions can affect the spatial and temporal distribution of carbon stocks. The amount that the forest grows and the change in carbon storage for each year is calculated using data and information obtained from the Canadian Forest Service (Natural Resources Canada).
The value of carbon is estimated based on data from various carbon markets, including Alberta’s current price of $15/tonne. The assessment result is a dollar value based on simulated timber production and changes in carbon storage over time. Key variables include input costs, wood product prices and carbon prices. These values are linked to Alberta’s forested lands and maps are created to show the supply and value of these two ecosystem services.