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Carbon Sequestration Study

In the Fall of 2022, BRMC partnered with the Institute for Integrative Conservation at William & Mary to explore the use of Nature-Based Solutions (NbS) to protect forested land masses in the Bull Run Mountain Region. 

BRMR report final (click to open pdf in new window)


The objective of this ongoing research project is to determine the viability of integrating the carbon market as a successful land management strategy in the Bull Run Mountains region. The approach involves two key perspectives: quantifying the carbon storage within the study area and understanding the preferences of local landowners while giving less emphasis on political factors. The objectives are as follows: 


  • Summarize landowner perspectives on the intrinsic, monetary, and ecological value of these lands.

  • Summarize the landowner's existing knowledge of the carbon market

  • Identify deforestation hotspots by creating land cover change maps using ArcGIS pro.

  • Measure the carbon sequestration value of the forest within the study area by parcels, and convert it into a relative monetary value


1. Landowner Interviews 

Five interviews were conducted with landowners in the region to learn more about the landowner's preferences for land use, existing knowledge of the carbon market, and willingness to explore options within it. 

2. Deforestation Hotspots and Carbon Storage

Using publicly available databases from the United States Geological Survey

the USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory, and Analysis (FIA) programs; the researchers were able to assess the deforestation rates and carbon storage capacities. 

3. Integrating local land management strategies and zoning plans to assess areas of development and potential expansion. 

Study area which encompasses about 66,700 acres 

Definitions to know


Comparison between landcover for 2001 and 2021


McShea, William & Bourg, Norm. “Bull Run Mountains American Chestnut Survival Study: Summary”. Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. 2014.

Site Layout and Plot Sites images from “Bull Run Mountains American Chestnut Survival Study: Summary”

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