Passamaquoddy Tribe Closes Major Carbon Credit Sale
The Passamaquoddy Tribe closed a major sale of verified carbon offset credits generated from Tribal trust lands. Drummond Woodsum attorneys Michael-Corey Hinton and Aaron Pratt represented the Tribe in this transaction. By encouraging natural forest growth over 98,000 acres of Tribal land, the project preserves stored carbon in the forest and enables an additional revenue stream through the sale of carbon offsets, also known as carbon credits. The Tribe’s project spans the Tribe’s Indian Township Reservation and tribal lands located across the State of Maine.
Chief William Nicholas from the Passamaquoddy community at Indian Township stated, “[t]he project was established to be a vital part of the Tribe’s natural resource-based economy and accommodates all existing uses of our land, including the Tribe’s long-standing logging practices, which have slowed in recent years.” The Tribe’s most recent sale, its second in 2017, involves approximately 2.25 million tons of carbon dioxide that are stored in tree stocks located on project lands.
The Tribe’s carbon offsets have been verified twice under a forest project protocol established under the State of California’s cap-and-trade program, which aims to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for public health purposes. The protocol requires sustainable forest management across all project lands and requires the Tribe to demonstrate that the emission reductions provided by its offsets are permanent, verifiable, and “additionality.” “Additionality” requires that the offset credit provides an emission-reducing benefit beyond what would have occurred without the project. The Tribe is committed to continued monitoring and verification of forest lands included in the project to ensure that its climate benefits persist for a period of 100 years following the issuance of any credits for greenhouse gases achieved by the project.
Revenue from the project has been and will continue to be devoted to a variety of initiatives intended to benefit the Tribal community. In particular, the Tribe has dedicated revenue to help fund tribal government operations and to support tribally-owned businesses, including the Tribe’s blueberry and maple syrup companies. In addition, revenue from the project will be devoted to the protection of the Tribe’s forest lands and to public health initiatives aimed at opioid addiction. Importantly, the 98,000 acres set aside by the Tribe for the project will continue to be open for all existing tribal uses of land, including logging, hunting, fishing, and recreation in accordance with Tribal law. Chief Ralph Dana from the Passamaquoddy community at Pleasant Point added that “this project furthers the Tribe’s historical commitment to sustainable natural resource management and the data shows that it is actively combatting carbon emissions. We are stewards of our land and this project demonstrates the Tribe’s commitment to protecting our resources.”
About the Passamaquoddy Tribe
The Passamaquoddy Tribe is a federally recognized Tribal Nation located in the State of Maine and New Brunswick, Canada. Each of the Tribe’s three reservations have their own local tribal council but jurisdiction over the resources held jointly by the Tribe sits with the Joint Tribal Council, which is represented by Drummond Woodsum & MacMahon. For more information, see www.passamaquoddy.com and www.wabanaki.com