King County Forest Carbon Program Launch
King County, Washington
King County and City Forest Credits launched the first urban forest preservation program in May 2019. King County, which includes the City of Seattle, is the largest county in Washington State and is experiencing rapid growth.
In addition to the urban forest preservation program, King County is also preserving rural forestlands. The program advances Executive Constantine’s Land Conservation Initiative, a 30-year vision to protect 65,000 acres of King County’s last remaining and most vital conservation lands and ensure that all the county’s residents have access to green space. It offers the first new private funding source for the Land Conservation Initiative and a rare opportunity for businesses in the Puget Sound region to support land conservation.
Fishermen’s Finest, a Kirkland-based fishing company that operates vessels in the North Pacific and Bering Sea, purchased the first urban forest preservation carbon credits from this program. This also marks the first purchase of urban forest preservation credits in the world.
The company is pushing the Alaska fishing industry to consider climate change and sustainability in fleet operations. Fishermen’s Finest recently commissioned the nation’s first “green” fishing trawler. This reduced their carbon output by 66%, but the company didn’t want to stop there. They contacted City Forest Credits in 2017 to explore how purchasing credits could help them meet their sustainability goal of being carbon neutral.
“Seeing firsthand the effects of climate change on the North Pacific, we felt an urgency to make a change,” said Helena Park, Founder and CEO of Fishermen’s Finest Inc. “Our new vessel is a jumpstart industry investment in clean technology and our carbon credit purchase allows us to invest in the community where we are headquartered.”
Fishermen’s Finest bought carbon credits from the County from forested land being preserved near Sammamish at the Soaring Eagle Regional Park. Between 2009 and 2014, Washington State lost 3,350 acres per year of tree cover in its urban and community forests - equal almost to the land area of the entire city of Bellevue.
City Forest Credits is excited to see Fishermen’s Finest lead the way, and other corporate citizens can join in to help keep our cities green, healthy, and equitable through carbon credits.