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Carbon Sequestration Certification Program


Projects

The carbon program is growing by leaps and bounds! Check out the projects we are partnering on:

 

North Canadian River Watershed Carbon Pilot Program

The Pilot Program was initiated to support development of the new Oklahoma carbon sequestration certification program. However, interest in the program has been so great, and project opportunities so bountiful, the pilot is now running tandem with all projects listed below. The carbon pilot program is being conducted in conjunction with the North Canadian River Water Quality Project, whose goal is to improve the water quality of the river between Canton Dam and Lake Overholser by reducing polluted runoff from land. The pilot program uses paired financial incentives from carbon offset payments and water quality program cost share monies to encourage producer participation. As part of the pilot program, soil carbon samples are being taken from select participating fields by Oklahoma State University. Goals include: Gain perspective on the willingness of Oklahoma agriculture producers to sign carbon contracts; use contracted acres to develop and test field verification protocols; encourage improved land management practices that store carbon dioxide and improve water quality; encourage soil sampling in Oklahoma to determine carbon sequestration rates in Oklahoma. Partners: Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC), Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, OK-NRCS, Oklahoma State University, Central North Canadian River Conservation District, Blaine County Conservation District, Dewey County Conservation District. Partnership Designation: Lead. Funding Source: WFEC. Start Date: 2008. Duration: Five years (rolled into Expansion Project).


 

Expansion Project: Developing high quality carbon offset verification protocols and quantifying water quality improvements of best management practices to ensure the environmental benefits of agricultural carbon offsets 

This project completes carbon sequestration verification protocols under development in Oklahoma, pairs them with soil sampling, and demonstrates how verified carbon offsets and related water quality improvements can be bundled for ecosystem market transactions. Protocols will be compiled into a verification handbook. The purpose of this project is to develop, test, and implement carbon sequestration verification protocols for agricultural and silvicultural practices that are recognized to have carbon market value to ensure environmental benefits of ecosystem market transactions. Partners: Western Farmers Electric Cooperative, Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, OK-NRCS, Oklahoma State University, Central North Canadian River Conservation District, Blaine County Conservation District, Dewey County Conservation District. Partnership Designation: Grantee. Funding Source: NRCS FY2010 CIG. Start Date: 2010. Duration: Three years.


 

Soil Carbon Sampling

Soil carbon sampling is an integral part of most Oklahoma Carbon Program projects because the Conservation Commission and partners are committed to expanding soil carbon research in Oklahoma. The overall goal of soil carbon research in Oklahoma is to determine sequestration rates of these practices in specific soils in as much of Oklahoma as possible. we have partnered with Oklahoma State University (OSU) to assess carbon sequestration rates in Oklahoma. OSU is evaluating the impact of spatial variations on the accuracy and uncertainty of soil carbon measurements for use in carbon sequestration verification. Assessments of both small scale (meters) and large scale (kilometers) variations are conducted so that future sampling protocols can be developed that minimize sample requirements and insure accurate sequestration measurements for the aggregated acres by carbon offset verifiers. See the soil sampling page for more details. Partners:Oklahoma State University (OSU), Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC), USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts. Partnership Designation: Lead. Funding Source: NRCS FY2010 CIG, WFEC, OSU. Start Date: 2008. Duration: Five years.


 

Ecosystem Services Project 

The purpose of this project is to continue and expand implementation efforts in the North Canadian River watershed to address nonpoint source (NPS) pollution-related impairments to streams, the river, and the recipient drinking water reservoirs. The project takes a holistic ecosystem approach to conservation management to reap the co-benefits of multiple conservation strategies working synergistically in a defined area to demonstrate to producers that it is feasible to continue implementation of best management practices (BMP) beyond the project duration, while improving water quality and optimizing farm yields. The ultimate goal is load reductions of bacteria, sediment, and nitrogen to streams, with the co-benefits of carbon sequestration and avoided nitrogen emissions. This will be done by providing technical assistance, strategies and rationales to producers to encourage BMP longevity including managing no-till fields, pastures, and riparian areas, nutrient management, wildlife habitat, and carbon sequestration beyond their contract life. Partners: USEPA, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Central North Canadian River Conservation District, Blaine County Conservation District, Dewey County Conservation District.  Partnership Designation: Grantee. Funding Source: USEPA. Start Date: 2011. Duration: Two years.


 

Bringing Greenhouse Gas Benefits to Market: Nutrient Management for Nitrous Oxide Reductions

The overall objective of this project is to enroll producers into a program that generates market-quality GHG credits from nutrient management and conservation practices. The team will identify the opportunities and barriers of implementing nutrient management GHG programs via the comparison of different protocols, quantification models, and outreach mechanisms. This project supports producer implementation of nutrient management practices using greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction credits and tests different models and protocols (particularly the Climate Action Reserve Nutrient Management Project Protocol) for measuring and marketing on-farm GHG emission reductions. The project team will draw lessons from this experience for future GHG market design and participation, with the goal of enrolling producers into a program that generates market-quality GHG reduction credits from nutrient management and conservation practices. Partners: USDA-NRCS, Delta Institute, National wildlife Federation, Oklahoma State University. Partnership Designation: Subgrantee. Funding Source: NRCS FY2011 CIG. Start Date: 2011. Duration: Three years.


 

Northwest Oklahoma Ecosystem Crediting Opportunities (ECO-Bundle) Program

The Oklahoma Conservation Commission is collaborating with the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, and NRCS to develop the concept of a wildlife credit as it applies to the Lesser Prairie Chicken (“LEPC”) habitat within the project area. This will entail creating protocols for defining, quantifying, and qualifying the credit, developing a credit verification system, and measuring the project’s effect on Oklahoma’s LEPC habitat and population. A successful crediting system will accurately account for the cost to landowners in implementing the required practices and the income sacrificed by forgoing the possibility of wind development. Through this process OACD and its partners will develop a Wildlife Credit Handbook. This tool will ensure that interested parties outside of OACD will also be capable of transferring the work resulting from this CIG to other regions of the state or the nation. Partners: Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, OK-NRCS. Partnership Designation: Partner. Funding Source: NRCS FY2011 CIG. Start Date: 2011. Duration: Three years.


 

ECOpass

The Oklahoma Carbon Program is the verifier of carbon offsets for the Oklahoma ECOpass program. The ECOpass program is part of the new effort by the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation to market the state to environmentally conscious tourists through the ECO program. The ECOpass program gives travelers an option to offset the environmental impact of their trip by purchasing credits generated by conservation practices undertaken by farmers and ranchers on their land such as no-till and strip-till farming, grass plantings, tree plantings and improved pasture management. All of these practices are encouraged by the Conservation Districts of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to reduce non-point source pollution in water, conserve soil, improve wildlife habitat and sequester carbon. Partners: Oklahoma Department of Tourism, Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts. Partnership Designation: Partner. Funding Source: Public Participants. Start Date: 2009. Duration: Ongoing.

 

If you are interested in partnering on a project, contact the Commission at 405-522-4739.

Last Modified on 08/30/2011