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Carbon Footprint Assessment finds that ODFW managed lands sequester 6.5 times more carbon than emitted from agency operations

Sept. 22, 2021

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife completed a baseline assessment of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from the Department's operations and carbon being sequestered in ODFW managed lands.

Climate and ocean change are having a significant negative impact on the habitat of fish and wildlife both in the ocean and on land. These changes represent a serious threat to the Department's mission and to all those that rely on healthy and abundant populations. Given this, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted a Climate and Ocean Change Policy in 2020 that set a course to manage and minimize those impacts, including by doing our part to lower the emissions that are causing climate and ocean change.

ODFW's total base year GHG emissions were calculated to be 9,280 tonnes of equivalent carbon dioxide (CO2e) and the estimated carbon sequestration in ODFW's wildlife areas is almost 61,000 tonnes of CO2e per year and is over 6.5 times larger than ODFW's GHG emissions total. The top three sources of GHGs from ODFW operations are electricity use, vehicle fuel combustion and emissions from microbial breakdown of aquatic nitrogen during fish production.

"I'm proud that emissions from the Department's operations are already being offset by carbon sequestration on our managed lands but recognize that this assessment also points to sources of emissions that we have the ability to reduce over the next twenty years," said Curt Melcher, Director, ODFW.

This baseline assessment looked at emissions during the period of July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. The intent of assessing this timeframe was to capture some pre-pandemic operations and some pandemic operations.

Fish hatchery facilities were among the most energy intensive operations, but even so, these facilities generated greenhouse gas emissions comparable to the average Portland office building. Fish production at many of ODFW's fish hatcheries and the resulting GHG emissions is mitigating for the impacts that low carbon hydroelectric generating facilities or flood control structures have on wild fish populations.

Now that the baseline assessment is complete, the Department will be developing a greenhouse gas reduction plan that will seek to reduce the volume of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from ODFW's operations, increase carbon sequestration on our managed lands and address the uncertainties outlined in the report. There are significant opportunities to transition to lower emissions electricity sources and zero emission vehicles.

The full report is available online here: https://www.dfw.state.or.us/climate_ocean_change/docs/ODFW%20Baseline%20GHG%20Inventory%20Report_Final.pdf.

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Contact:

Davia Palmeri, (971) 719-1192, davia.m.palmeri@odfw.oregon.gov
Adam Baylor, (503) 930-7116, adam.c.baylor@odfw.oregon.gov

 
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