Partners: Blue Source
Client Type: Municipality
Status: Credits Issued
Standard: Voluntary Market, Improved Forest Management
The Bethlehem Authority’s forestlands contain both the Wild Creek and Tunkhannock Creek Watersheds, which serve as the primary and secondary drinking water supply for over 115,000 customers. Additionally, The Pocono mesic till barrens, which contain the greatest concentration of globally rare plant and animal species of any terrestrial ecosystem in Pennsylvania, dominate several thousand acres of Authority property.
In order to obtain funds to maintain the quality of the watershed, and continue supplying the highest quality drinking water, The Authority entered the carbon market. The Bethlehem Authority project was the first project to be verified under the Verified Carbon Standard’s Improved Forest Management (IFM) protocol. At 22,000 acres protected, the agreement was also the largest private conservation project ever in Pennsylvania at the time of signing.
SIG carried out inventory, design, growth and yield modeling and carbon quantification for 17,000 acres of forestland. In conjunction with the carbon project, a conservation easement was placed on the land which ensures that the properties will be retained in their natural and forested condition, free of additional forest fragmentation or additional development. Rare plants will also be protected. The Authority has received credits for revenue totaling over $1,204,000 from Chevy Corp. and Disney Corp., and has a commitment from Disney to buy carbon credits through 2021.