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Posted: December 13, 2012

RDEK buying 2012 carbon offsets from Darkwoods project

The Regional District of East Kootenay almost unanimously agreed to direct regional administration to purchase 2012 carbon offsets from the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Darkwoods project.

The purchase is to be subject to the Carbon Neutral Kootenays project negotiating a final purchase agreement.

Mayor Dean McKerracher

Only District of Elkford Mayor Dean McKerracher voted against the decision.

“I’m going to chose to keep my money in my community until after the election and then we’ll go from there,” he said.

Electoral Area A Director Mike Sosnowski agrees with McKerracher that the money should be spent locally and was only voting in favour because the region made an earlier commitment to do take the Darkwoods route.

“We have to make every effort to keep this money in our local region,” Sosnowski said. “In the future, if carbon offsets go outside the community, I am not going to support it.”

Carbon offsetting “is essentially a service: the purchaser pays someone else to create greenhouse gas reductions on his or her behalf,” explains “A typical example of an offset project is investing in new renewable energy, like a wind farm. !e rights to the emission reductions from these projects can be sold as carbon offsets. A purchaser can visit a carbon offset vendor’s website, use the vendor’s calculators to estimate their emissions, and then make a purchase.”

The Darkwoods project, 550 square kilometres of forested mountain landscape located between Nelson, Salmo and Creston, was purchased for conservation purposes by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in 2008.

“Because of its size and connectivity to other protected lands, including parks and wildlife management areas, Darkwoods helps establish a cross‐border wilderness corridor for a number of wide‐ranging carnivores, including a key population of grizzly bear. Most notably, Darkwoods provides crucial winter habitat for the only remaining mountain caribou herd in the region, which rely on the lichen that grows only on old growth trees,” explains the NCC in .

Image from:

Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

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