King County Urban Forest Preservation Program

Project Profile

Project Location

King County, WA

Project Operator

King County Department of Natural Resources & Parks

Project Type

Preservation

Carbon+ Credits

3025

Status

Credits available

Contact

Kathleen Farley Wolf kfarleywolf@kingcounty.gov

Launched in May 2019, King County is the first local government in the country to offer a carbon credit program that protects city trees and urban forested areas. King County’s Forest Carbon Program confronts climate change by offering local companies the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions by keeping forests intact here in the region, making it possible for their employees and their families to explore and enjoy the protected outdoor spaces. 

The Puget Sound region, including the Seattle metro area, is growing rapidly. The Forest Carbon Program is a component of the Land Conservation Initiative, a 30-year vision to protect 65,000 acres of the most important remaining natural lands and urban green spaces for residents of the region.

King County has identified 1,500 acres of high-value urban forest to be preserved and will be acquiring lands with its city partners throughout the coming years. The first acquisition in 2019 was a 20-acre addition to Soaring Eagle Regional Park near Sammamish, WA. 

Program goals include:

A cleaner urban environment

Improve urban air quality, reduce stormwater runoff, and enhance water quality in our rivers, lakes, and Puget Sound

Sustaining salmon and wildlife

Protect critical salmon habitat and preserve corridors for our remaining elk, bears, and other wildlife in an increasingly fragmented, paved-over landscape.

Healthy communities

Provide our communities with the diverse physical and mental health benefits of green space. Improve our communities’ access to spaces to gather, relieve stress, and relax – and spaces where our children can play and learn outdoors.

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