Canadian Forest Service Publications

Landowner perspectives on afforestation for carbon sequestration in Canada’s prairie provinces. 2005. Smith, R.A.; McFarlane, B.L.; Parkins, J.R.; Pohrebniuk, P.A.M. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton, Alberta. Information Report NOR-X-401. 46 p.

Year: 2005

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25265

Language: English

Series: Information Report (NoFC - Edmonton)

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


This study examined landowner attitudes toward participating in an afforestation program for the purpose of carbon sequestration and the elements necessary for the success of such a program. Data were collected by means of focus groups and a literature review. Seven focus groups of private landowners met for discussion in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta in 2003. Participants identified several potential benefits of afforestation such as ecosystem benefits, potential income, and intergenerational benefits. However, many drawbacks and barriers were also identified, including unknown opportunity cost, time involved in establishing and growing trees, lack of technical knowledge, and ownership and financial issues. Furthermore, the findings suggested that a successful afforestation program would have to consider flexible incentive packages that might include opportunity cost, tax incentives, risk-sharing arrangements, long-term commitment by government and landowners, and the need for information and infrastructure support. A regionally differentiated program would be necessary to account for microclimate and ecosystem differences and regional differences in distance from delivery centers, markets, and support infrastructure. The contingent aspects of an afforestation program include the potential role of carbon credit accounting, cooperative development for both acreage and infrastructure development, and the uncertainty of timber markets in the future. Finally, a need for the development of mechanisms for parallel research, program delivery, and monitoring was identified. These mechanisms must allow for increased and appropriate afforestation-related research, a variety of program delivery models, and monitoring techniques that are both participatory and reciprocal with program development.