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Solar Panels
Unsplash

Utility-scale solar energy can be a tool for conservation, economic development

While many land trusts are concerned about climate change, few are messaging about solar in a manner that promotes larger-scale developments that work towards wildlife habitat, water absorption, and farm viability. Natural climate solutions will falter if we don't slow down the use of fossil fuels, quickly. Here's an example of an organization taking a proactive approach.

To put it plainly, these proposed projects will not destroy the natural environment nor negatively impact the watershed if they are approved and built in line with Linn County’s existing ordinance for solar energy projects. In fact, with a diverse mix of native grasses and wildflowers cultivated on-site, these proposed projects can significantly improve water quality, reduce soil erosion, and provide habitat for wildlife and pollinators, going a long way to restore Iowa’s landscape.

Furthermore, by using wildlife-style fencing instead of traditional chain link fencing, these sites can be a home for upland nesting birds such as ring-necked pheasants, quail, and other grassland birds like the dickcissel…

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Global Weirding

What’s the big deal with a few degrees?

Are you looking for a good resource to share about climate change? Katharine Hayhoe, world-renowned climate scientist and the chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy, has a good place to start.

A few degrees is no big deal. Outside temperature can go up or down by that much in a single hour, right? So why are scientists so worked up about such a little change?

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Sunset
Unsplash

The forest carbon cooperative: A first of its kind

Carbon markets are getting a lot of press these days. How is your land trust thinking about the role of carbon markets as part of its conservation strategy?

Ten landowners, managing 7,500 acres of forestland in the northern Green Mountains, are part of the first forest carbon cooperative in the US. In partnership with Cold Hollow to Canada, Vermont Land Trust (VLT) has helped these landowners enroll in the voluntary carbon market and find buyers for the carbon credits.

Some businesses, individuals, and institutions buy carbon credits as a way to reduce the impact of the pollution they create. In working together, the landowners were able to spread out the costs of participating in the carbon market, which has been a barrier for owners of small woodlots…

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Did You Know

Public Service Announcement mentioning climate change

Partnering with local schools and colleges can be an effective way of boosting outreach efforts around climate change, shared values, and what people can do to help.

The animated Public Service Announcement (PSA) for the Black Swamp Conservancy was produced by David Bloom (Director), Carl Northrup, Alexa Mahajan, and Tynea Swinton at Bowling Green State University in Professor Bonnie Mitchell’s Collaborative Digital Arts Development class. The Conservancy’s executive director worked with the students on the script for the PSA.

The land trust recently held a drive-in movie screening of environmental documentaries and screened it as part of that. They are also working to get the local PBS station to run some pro-bono time for them.

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Lentils
Flickr

Welcome to the Resilient Land Mapping Tool

This map is really interesting. I'd love to hear what you think...

Newly available forest carbon datasets allow conservation organizations to estimate the impact of land protection projects on carbon storage and sequestration. Step-by-step guidance walks through how to assess current and future carbon on a single property, or across an entire service area, using data that is freely available through The Nature Conservancy’s Resilient Land Mapping Tool.

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Forest
Unsplash

Six simple steps: Evaluate the contribution of your land protection project to a low carbon future

Newly available forest carbon datasets allow conservation organizations to estimate the impact of land protection projects on carbon storage and sequestration. The Open Space Institute (OSI) developed this guide to help groups that protect and steward land determine how much carbon a forest stores today, and how much additional carbon could be sequestered by 2050.

The step-by-step guidance walks through how to assess current and future carbon on a single property, or across an entire service area, using data that is freely available through The Nature Conservancy’s Resilient Land Mapping Tool.

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Netzero2050
WashPost

Despite pandemic, carbon dioxide level in atmosphere hits record high

As of May 2021, our global CO2 levels exceeded 419. The driver is, as you know, burning fossil fuels.

Without transitioning off fossil fuels soon, natural climate solutions like farms and ranchlands, woodlands, wetlands, and prairies, won’t stand much of a chance.

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Atmospheric Co2
CO2 Earth

CO2 Earth: Are we stabilizing yet?

This resource might be interesting for you to share, both to people well-versed in science and to those less inclined.

As of May 2021, our global CO2 levels exceeded 419. That’s way past what is considered a safe level of atmospheric carbon dioxide (350 ppm), which is why natural climate solutions are so important to pull CO2 from the air.

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Map
Carbon Brief

Attributing extreme weather to climate change

While there is crazy flooding and rain-related stress happening in the east and the midwest, the west are grappling with tragic temperatures and the related drought and fires. Throughout our country, people and animals are suffering.

Extreme weather wackiness is increasing given the continued use of fossil fuels and higher levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. This interactive map is a helpful tool for deepening our understanding.

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Monarch
Monarch © Bark

Monarchs and climate change

The monarch is most commonly found in North America. This is likely something that could resonate with many people you know...

“Monarch Butterflies are very sensitive to changes in temperature as they rely heavily on this factor to prompt migration, hibernation and reproduction. Thus, changes in temperature due to climate change are expected to influence and potentially disrupt these critical stages of the butterflies’ life cycle…”

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