Skip to main content

Forest Carbon and Management

The Northern Forests Climate Hub has curated a collection of resources to support land managers in integrating carbon considerations into forest and ecosystem management, conservation and stewardship.

Forests play a critical role in mitigating climate change by capturing carbon dioxide and storing carbon within soils and forest biomass. Forest management actions are often necessary to maintain or enhance the forest carbon sink, which offsets about 15 percent of total U.S. fossil fuel emissions annually. Management actions can be designed to enhance sequestration rates or to maintain or increase existing forest carbon stocks by preventing carbon losses. These management actions also can support other desired co-benefits for resource management objectives, such as timber supply, wildlife habitat, or water quality. The Northern Forests Climate Hub and regional partners have collaborated to provide a growing set collection of topic pages and resources to help land managers, and landowners meet their objectives.

Browse Forest Carbon Resources and Tools

  • Publication: Considering Forest and Grassland Carbon in Land Management

    This USDA Forest Service publication provides an overview of the global carbon cycle, ecosystem carbon storage and fluxes, carbon monitoring and accounting, and carbon and land management options.

  • Primer: Understanding Forest Soil Carbon and Resources for Real-World Management Applications

    Soil carbon plays an important role in northern forests in the Lake States and beyond. New research and USDA resources can help practitioners evaluate potential soil gains or losses based on management actions.

  • Primer: Carbon and Wood-based Bioenergy

    Management activities can have a substantial effect on greenhouse gas mitigation that extends beyond the carbon contained within forest ecosystems. Forest management activities can supply wood directly for energy, and waste materials from wood products manufacturing, and processing can be recovered to produce power.

  • NRCS Practices and Adaptation

    NRCS programs and practices can help landowners achieve their goals while supporting climate adaptation, and the management of carbon. Learn more by downloading the "Climate Change Impacts and Carbon on Your Land" brochures.

  • Effort: Forest Owner Carbon and Climate Education (FOCCE) Program

    The Forest Owner Carbon and Climate Education (FOCCE) program is a collaboration between thirteen university extension divisions and three USDA Climate Hubs which seeks to educate forest owners and practitioners about forest carbon and climate-smart forestry.

  • Tool: Forest Carbon Management Adaptation Menu

    The menu of adaptation strategies and approaches for forest carbon management provides options to managers when planning actions to enhance carbon within forested ecosystems.


The Northern Institute for Applied Climate Science and regional partners have led the development of forest carbon resources including the education primers, and Forest Carbon Management Adaptation Strategies and Approaches, and the Adaptation Workbook process (published in Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate Change Tools and Approaches for Land Managers). The Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS) a collaborative, multi-institutional partnership led and supported by the USDA Forest Service.