PRESTO was developed by scientists with the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station and ESSA Technologies , and was released in 2014. The tool was motivated by the Carbon reports found in the FVS Fire and Fuels model extension and the need to make those available outside the FVS model. PRESTO carbon accounting is based on the published study Methods for calculating forest ecosystem and harvested carbon with standard estimates for forest types of the United States. PRESTO is based on the methods and ratios that were developed to support voluntary greenhouse gas reporting; these methods are consistent with the IPCC guidance on harvested wood products.

In 2017, PRESTO was updated and added to the i-Tree suite of tools as the i-Tree Harvest Carbon Calculator.


PRESTO is based upon the following study. For full details, including the PDF and a CD download, please click on the following link: US Forest Service Publication

Title: Methods for calculating forest ecosystem and harvested carbon with standard estimates for forest types of the United States
Author: Smith, James E.; Heath, Linda S.; Skog, Kenneth E.; Birdsey, Richard A.
Date: 2006
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-343. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 216 p.
Station ID: GTR-NE-343

Description: This study presents techniques for calculating average net annual additions to carbon in forests and in forest products. Forest ecosystem carbon yield tables, representing stand-level merchantable volume and carbon pools as a function of stand age, were developed for 51 forest types within 10 regions of the United States. Separate tables were developed for afforestation and reforestation. Because carbon continues to be sequestered in harvested wood, approaches to calculate carbon sequestered in harvested forest products are included. Although these calculations are simple and inexpensive to use, the uncertainty of results obtained by using representative average values may be high relative to other techniques that use site- or project-specific data. The estimates and methods in this report are consistent with guidelines being updated for the U.S. Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program and with guidelines developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The CD-ROM included with this publication contains a complete set of tables in spreadsheet format.