The most common forest carbon offset project type under the California program is Improved Forest Management (IFM). Landowners must meet specific requirements to participate:
- Forest volume in the project area must be maintained or increase over the project life, except for unintentional decline due to a force majeure event (wildfire, windstorm, pest outbreak, etc.).
- Project lands must consist of a mix of native tree species.
- Project lands must never have more than 40% of trees in age classes of less than 20 years old.
- Clear-cuts cannot exceed 40 acres in size.
- If the landowner terminates the project before the 100 year commitment period ends, they must replace all carbon offset tons issued since the project began plus penalties.