Forest Carbon Coalition Organizational Members



Our mission and history

The Forest Carbon Coalition (FCC) was first organized in 2013 with the overriding goal of shifting the focus of federal forest management nationwide to one that emphasizes the role public forests must play in sequestering and storing carbon to address the climate crisis. By establishing public forests as forest carbon reserves, the US can play a major role in reducing its atmospheric carbon emissions and increasing the resilience of forest ecosystems in the face of climate change.

To advance this goal, FCC convened a science panel composed of 10 top scientists from different universities and the private sector nationwide with knowledge of forest carbon and soils management issues and then collaborated with this panel and our members to develop a comprehensive set of management practices, administrative rules, and policies that could guide the Obama White House.

In 2019, the FCC expanded its mission to include non-federal forestlands managed by states, local governments, private corporations and individuals. Across the US, eighty percent of the most productive forestlands – those capable of capturing and storing the most amount of carbon – are owned by these entities, yet the laws under which these lands are managed are archaic and encourage rapid clearcutting and other industrial forest practices that generate major amounts of greenhouse gas pollution. This approach to forest management also amplifies the public health and safety threats associated with floods, wildfires, harmful algae blooms, landslides, insects and disease as climate change unfolds.

FCC is a project of Center for Sustainable Economy, our tax-exempt fiscal sponsor. For more information about CSE please visit www.sustainable-economy.org


Key staff


Ernie Niemi, Co-director.

ernieErnie co-founded FCC in 2013, and currently serves as its Co-director, with a focus on coalition engagement, synthesizing science, and communication with decision makers. He specializes in applying the principles of cost-benefit analysis, economic valuation, and economic-impact analysis to describe the economic importance of natural resources. He formed Natural Resource Economics, Inc. in 2012. From 1978 to 2012, he managed economic and policy analysis for the consulting firm, ECONorthwest, where he was a co-owner, vice president, and senior economist. He also has taught cost-benefit analysis and economic development for the University of Oregon’s Department of Planning, Public Policy, and Management, and taught high-school science as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uganda.

He has described the economic importance of market and non-market goods and services derived from diverse ecosystems: dryland, montane, riparian, lake, river, forest, grassland, urban, savannah, estuarine, marine, coastal plain, island.

His analyses have addressed resource-management programs for water quantity, quality, and reliability; economic security for at-risk human communities; conservation of at-risk fish, wildlife, and plant species; management of natural-resource risks; adaptation of households, businesses, and communities to expected changes in climate; management of public lands and waters; diversion of surface and ground water for irrigation, livestock, domestic, and municipal-industrial uses; maintenance or enhancement of in-stream flows; water conservation; forest restoration; and floodplain management.

His descriptions of the economic importance of natural resources have covered marginal and aggregate estimation of market value and social value (including cultural value); impacts of resource-management alternatives on commercial and non-commercial (including subsistence) components of surrounding economies; and the distribution of positive and negative economic outcomes among existing groups and across current and future generations.

Much of his work has entailed describing the market and non-market competition for natural resources, identifying externalities associated with different resource uses (costs and benefits that accrue to those outside the decision-making process), and tracing the effects of the externalities on competitive outcomes.

He has presented analytical findings on resource-management issues to congressional, judicial, arbitrative, administrative, multi-national, and scientific/professional bodies.

John Talberth, Ph.D., Co-director.

talberthDr. Talberth is President and Senior Economist at Center for Sustainable Economy (CSE), an environmental economics think tank based in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Talberth is Co-director of FCC and focuses his work on forest carbon policy analysis and advocacy based on the underlying science and economics.

Prior to CSE, Dr. Talberth was Senior Economist for the People and Ecosystems Program at the World Resources Institute in Washington, DC and Sustainability Indicators Program Director at Redefining Progress in Oakland, California. His environmental economics career began by working to protect ancient forests of the Pacific Northwest in the late 1980s through CSE’s predecessor, Forest Conservation Council, which he directed. Dr. Talberth holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of New Mexico and a master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon. His undergraduate school was the College of William and Mary in Virginia where he earned a BA in Economics and Political Science.

Dr. Talberth has published extensively on topics that include carbon and ecological footprint analysis, sustainable management of forests and farmland, ocean acidification and warming, marine dead zones, and new indicators of progress. His recent sustainability indicators research has been focused on developing new methods for multiscale Genuine Progress Indicator accounts and use of these accounts to inform policy interventions. Another current research priority addresses the climate impacts of industrial forest practices and a menu of policy solutions to help catalyze a transformation to climate smart alternatives.

Daphne Wysham, Director of Communications and Outreach

wyshamDaphne Wysham directs Center for Sustainable Economy's Climate Justice Program. A former Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., where she worked for 20 years, Daphne has worked since the mid-1990s on strategic research and advocacy at the intersection of climate justice and sustainable economies.

Her path-breaking research and advocacy has resulted in shifts in public policy and investment at the national and international level. A campaign she launched in 1997, taking on the World Bank's role in financing fossil fuels, achieved a major victory in 2017 when the World Bank agreed to phase out of all upstream fossil fuel financing by 2019. A campaign she helped launch in Portland, OR, put in place the strongest ordinance of its kind the country, calling for an end to all new fossil fuel infrastructure. In the aftermath of Portland's initiative, Daphne has been organizing civil society groups, mayors and other elected officials in the U.S. and Canada to endorse and pledge to uphold a similar platform for no new fossil fuel infrastructure in their jurisdictions.

Her writings, commentary and analysis have appeared in national news publications and on radio and TV, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Grist, The Guardian, The Nation, The Financial Times, The Huffington Post and on Al Jazeera, Democracy Now!, MSNBC, BBC, NPR, and Marketplace, among others. For 8 years, from 2003-2011, she hosted Earthbeat Radio and TV, which focused on the politics of climate change and other environmental issues and was aired on over 60 radio stations in the U.S. and Canada.

A graduate of Princeton University, Daphne is a co-founder of the Durban Group for Climate Justice, co-founder of Climate Justice Now!, a contributing researcher for Naomi Klein's bestselling book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs the Climate,” and serves on the board of the following organizations: Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth-Nigeria; Nuclear Information and Resource Service; the Arctic Defense Fund; and Reseau Global.

Susan Leopold, PhD, Congressional Liaison

Susan Leopold, PhDSusan is a board member of the Center for Sustainable Economy and presently Executive Director of one of FCC's member groups – United Plant Savers – who has been a staunch advocate for biodiverse forests not only for climate benefits but for other ecosystem services and economic value that directly impacts local communities such as ecotourism, non-timber products, medicinal and edible plants. She will be working in DC with partner organizations to advance FCC's forest carbon goals before Congress and within natural resource agencies. Susan has a Doctorate in Ethnobotany from Antioch New England, and a Master's in Environment Landscape Design from the Conway School.


Join FCC as an organizational member

Securing climate smart forest policies on federal, state, and private lands across the US is a major challenge. But by creating synergies between experts and advocates across a wide range of fields and approaches the Forest Carbon Coalition seeks to position itself and its members to be ready to respond to threats and opportunities wherever they arise. Please help us achieve this goal by becoming an organizational member. Members engage with us in in the design of forest carbon policies and initiatives, stay up to date on emerging science and can rely on the expertise and experience of the coalition to achieve their goals.