Grazing management, soil carbon, and climate change

This project is designed to test soil carbon storage potential in BC rangelands with respect to sustainable ranching practices. We will provide vital information on how rangelands can be managed to maintain and increase carbon sequestration. BC is in a unique position because of its carbon tax, which is linked into the Pacific Carbon Trust. Pacific Carbon Trust is a BC Crown corporation with a mandate and commitment to deliver real and permanent greenhouse gas reductions. There is the opportunity for ranchers to trade carbon on the market. Most of the money that has changed hands so far is for increasing efficiencies in the fossil fuels industry, but there is potential for range management to be recognized as a viable industry for carbon trading. There are two main goals of this research: 1) to model and map soil carbon across BC grasslands and 2) to evaluate the impact of grazing management on soil carbon sequestration.

Research supported by: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; Canada-BC Ranching Task Force Funding Initiative; BC Grasslands Conservation Council.

Partners: Kevin Boon (BC Cattlemen’s Assoc)

Current students: Dan Denesiuk (MSc); Sarah Whitehouse (MSc)

Past students: Anna Sapozhnikova (MSc); Katie DeGroot; Heather Richardson (MSc)

Website: More information can be found at the project website.