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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Range Management Research

Title: Contributing to the mitigation of climate change using rangeland management

item De Steiguer, J.
item Brown, Joel
item Thorpe, Jim

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/30/2008
Publication Date: 6/30/2008
Citation: De Steiguer, J.E., Brown, J.R., Thorpe, J. 2008. Contributing to the mitigation of climate change using rangeland management. Rangelands. 30(3):7-11.

Interpretive Summary: Rangeland carbon sequestration projects are proposed as a means of contributing to the reduction of atmospheric CO2 and global warming. However, rangeland projects are a small subset of terrestrial projects including forestry and cropland management. Terrestrial sequestration projects, in turn, are a small subset of total sequestration projects, such as geologic sequestration, and a much larger pool of emission reductions projects. Rangeland sequestration projects are compatible with existing management and operating systems and can be organized and delivered to the market relatively efficiently and, as a result, are very competitive. However, monitoring and verification represent a substantial challenge to rangeland managers and project organizers. Solving these challenges will determine how attractive rangeland carbon sequestration projects are to ranchers, organizers, buyers and investors.

Technical Abstract: The mitigation of climate change through rangeland management based projects seems to be viable in the marketplace. Carbon sequestration via rangeland management has a sound basis in both economics and ecology if the offset projects are compatible with existing land uses and management systems. However, to be competitive in a global, multisectoral market, rangeland projects must operate efficiently within market prices and rules and exploit inherent competitive advantages. Rangeland carbon sequestration projects are competitive because of the relatively low cost of achieving increased soil carbon storage and compatibility with existing management operations and production systems. Documenting and verifying changes in carbon storage may be a difficult challenge. The success of rangeland projects as participants in a private sector market will be determined in large part by the ability of the rangeland management profession (scientists, advisors and managers) to develop accurate, credible and cost-effective protocols to insure that gains are real.

Last Modified: 06/23/2017
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