(FOX 9) - Did you know that you could be making money off your trees if you own woodland in the state of Minnesota?
There are roughly 180,000 private woodland owners in the state that own about 40% of the state's 17 million acres of forest land. Forestry experts say some of these residents are getting involved in the fairly new carbon market.
Opposite from humans, trees capture carbon dioxide, and store it as they grow. In the state, forests average 75 U.S. tons of trapped carbon per acre.
The carbon market allows for corporations and individuals to pay forest landowners for carbon dioxide in order to help offset some of their own emissions.
According to Matt Russell, with the University of Minnesota Extension, payments on one ton of carbon can range from $5/ton up to roughly $15/ton.
"Historically carbon markets have not been available to small woodland owners. Just now those are beginning to gain traction, and a lot more people are interested. Now we have a lot of early adopters saying 'Okay, I value my woodlands. Let me see if I can enter my land in a carbon market and be paid for the carbon that is being paid in my woods," says Russell.
Right now, there are a limited number of programs in the state, but Russell says that more will be moving into the lake states in the coming years.