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The Science

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Colorado has 248 golf facilities comprising more than 20,000 acres of highly managed land and an economic impact in Colorado of $1.2 billion dollars per year. The first of its kind research has been done and published from Colorado State University and the USDA/Agricultural Research Service in Colorado documenting the sequestration of carbon in measurable amounts at Colorado golf facilities. Preliminary assessments of golf facility emissions of CO2 or Carbon Footprint have been done at Cornell University. The purpose of this project is to determine the carbon footprint of Colorado’s golf facilities annually. To do this, the carbon sequestered from all sources and the carbon emitted from all sources on an annual basis at Colorado’s golf facilities will be ascertained. These results will be published in an academic, high quality, peer-reviewed journal. The documented sequestered carbon will be used to create marketable certificates as a self-sustaining funding mechanism for this and future projects to improve conservation and environmental stewardship at Colorado’s golf facilities.

1) All golf course facilities in Colorado are asked to participate. The Agricultural Economics Department and the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Colorado State University in association with Colorado’s golf organizations are developing and will implement a carbon emissions data collections system for the project.

2) Colorado State University in association with the USDA/ARS and Golfpreserves® will assess the carbon sequestered at golf courses.

3) The data collected will be used to prepare peer-reviewed journal publications by Colorado State University documenting the total carbon effects of sequestration and emissions of golf in Colorado.

4) The carbon certificates generated by the project will generate funding for this and future projects by Colorado’s golf organizations to improve energy use, water use, carbon emissions and environmental stewardship.

5) Current Status: Colorado’s golf organizations have endorsed the project. Dr. Ron Follett of the USDA/ARS and Drs. Yaling Qian and Tony Koski of Colorado State have begun working on their portions of the project. Please see the letters of support from the Allied Golf Associations of Colorado, USGA Green Section, International Sustainability Council, Audubon International, Audubon Lifestyles, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, National Turfgrass Federation and the Office of the Governor of Colorado.


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