Conservation Groups Trade Carbon to Help Ducks

Laramie, Wyo. – Some conservation groups hope capturing carbon dioxide in grasslands will be the answer to duck conservation.

Jim Ringelman of Ducks Unlimited says his group paired with the Plains C-O-2 Reduction Partnership to create a carbon offset program in North Dakota.

"We have a program that enables land owners to place perpetual easements on their land to protect the grass in exchange for a one time payment, many land owners are interested in doing that but we don't have enough revenue to meet the demand, so we thought of using carbon credit financing to help with those costs and obtain the easements," Ringelman said.

Ringelman says the grass that is set aside as bird habitat will absorb carbon dioxide from the air. These offsets will be sold to utility companies and other corporations in the form of carbon credits.

He says he hopes the idea will spread to other states, and provide a model for those dealing with sage grouse habitat in Wyoming.