Washington project ensures forest stores carbon for decades

SEATTLE (AP)  -- Half a small forest still standing near Mount Rainier was facing the wood chipper before an initiative in Washington state saved the decades-old trees and allowed Microsoft to finance the project to help offset its carbon footprint.

The effort keeps 520 acres intact so the trees can store carbon dioxide for an additional 10 years. These types of projects, which can include wind farms to projects that capture methane from landfills, allow companies and individuals to buy credits to offset the amount of greenhouse gas they send into the atmosphere.

Microsoft Corp. has agreed to buy the vast majority of credits, roughly 35,000, as part of its own initiative to be carbon-neutral in its data centers, offices, software development labs, and employee air travel.