Initiative: Carbon-credit dollars for timber lots

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Associated Press

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 16 at 10:02 AM

RAINIER, Ore. (AP) — An initiative founded in Oregon's Willamette Valley tries to tackle a growing problem: Aging timber lot owners can't pay their medical bills.

Their kids don't want to inherit the land. Their health care bills are stacking up. Desperate for quick cash, they chop down their trees or sell the land to developers. That's a problem for the environment. Downed trees don't absorb carbon. Neither does developed land.

The solution proposed by Oregon's Pinchot Institute is to get the timber lot owners money for the pollutants their trees absorb. The key is carbon credits. Companies seeking to offset their pollution will pay timber lot owners for the carbon their trees suck out of the atmosphere.

The money goes on an "ATreeM" card that lot owners can spend on health care bills.

EDITOR'S NOTE _ Aging America is a joint AP-APME project examining the aging of the baby boomers and the impact that will have on society.

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