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May 16, 2017

Passamaquoddy Tribe generates revenue through carbon credits

The Passamaquoddy Tribe recently received a "Project Developer of the Year" award from the Climate Action Reserve for generating the most carbon offset credits in 2016.

The Quoddy Tides reported the tribe uses most of the land in Maine acquired through funding from the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act to generate the credits.

In 2016, 3.2 million credits were issued. With credits recently selling in the range of $11 to $14 per credit, the 3.2 million credits could be worth between $35 million and $45 million, the newspaper reported.

Michael-Corey Hinton, an attorney with Washington, D.C.-based law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and representing the Passamaquoddy Joint Tribal Council concerning the project, told the paper the revenue has been put back into tribally owned businesses. To ensure the project continues, Hinton said, "The tribe has been and must continue to be vigilant with respect to maintaining forest lands, and this will require additional investments in the tribe's capacity to manage its bountiful natural resources."

In 2014, the tribe was the first tribe with trust land in the eastern United States to start a carbon offset project. Started in partnership with forest carbon project developer Finite Carbon, the project involves a 98,571-acre forest of primarily spruce‑fir and northern hardwoods forestland.

"The Passamaquoddy Tribe Improved Forest Management Project builds upon our sacred commitment to the protection of our forest resources and creates unique training and employment opportunities for our tribal members," Ernie Neptune, Passamaquoddy tribal forestry supervisor, said in a release.

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