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Climate Change & Conservation eNews


Maine Fishing Boat

Responding to climate change: Website stories

Here's a nice example of how a land trust is connecting the dots to the impact of climate change on their community — and working to provide authentic solutions.

Does your local land trust want to inspire people and community members to think about, and address, climate change?

Perhaps a dedicated page on its website would help — one that talks about the challenges and solutions. Check out Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s webpage, and see what you think.

It’s also critical that when people search for ‘land trusts + climate change,’ that they can find your land trust’s website.

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Changing Coast

Grassroots 2021: Katharine Hayhoe on starting a climate change dialogue

Dr. Hayhoe is one of the world's most respected climate scientists and science communicators. She recently joined The Nature Conservancy as their Chief Scientist. While this talk was originally for architects, I think you'll find it helpful when thinking about how to connect with people around shared values.

It’s about connecting the dots between climate change and existing priorities.

According to climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, the most important thing we can do to fight climate change is simple: talk about it.

Hayhoe brought her specific brand of climate activism to AIA’s 2021 Grassroots Conference, the most-attended event in Grassroots history with over 970 participants. She addressed how to help people (and clients) understand the pressing need to address climate change before it is too late to course-correct…

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Solar Panels

Crystal Spring Farm Community Solar Project

Are you looking for examples to demonstrate support for "compatible" renewables? This might be something you could emulate in your region.

For the [over] 25 years BTLT has owned and managed Crystal Spring Farm, a 331-acre property dynamic in its agricultural impact, community programs, recreational opportunities, and ecological value. As BTLT staff and resources have grown, so has our capacity to manage the many aspects of this incredible property…

Capacity: 78.65 Kilowatts (KW), 286 photovoltaic solar panels, 275 watts/panel

Host: Crystal Spring Farm, with concurrence of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (landowner).

Participants: Crystal Spring Farm plus seven other Brunswick families without access to solar electricity where they live.

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Early Fall Forest

The right trees for the right time: Speakers to focus on forest resiliency amid climate change

Perhaps there is a way for your local conservation group to tap into a webinar series like this. You can always promote webinars and speaker series that are relevant to your area.

New approaches to forest management — that can help maximize ecosystem resiliency in changing climate conditions — will be the focus of four talks being offered in conjunction with a recently announced project in the Hoffman Evergreen Preserve in Stonington, Connecticut.

The next two talks (out of a series of four) will be on May 12 and June 9. Registration is free.

Sponsored by the Avalonia Land ConservancyConnecticut Sea Grant and UConn CLEAR (Center for Land Use Education & Research), the talks will give municipal officials, resource managers, land trust members, tribal leaders, private forest owners, students, teachers, and others the chance to learn from experts about climate change effects on northeastern forests and strategies to enhance their ability to adapt…

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Western Meadowlark
Evan Barrientos/Audubon

Conservation Ranching: Empowering consumers to make a difference in grassland conservation

“Grassland birds have suffered an unparalleled decline over the past half century, stemming from widespread development of North America’s grasslands. This calls for Audubon’s action. To combat the negative effects of grassland degradations—and to keep grass on the landscape—Audubon has developed the Conservation Ranching Initiative. This market-based conservation approach offers incentives for good grassland stewardship through a certification label on beef products. For the first time, consumers can contribute to grassland conservation efforts by selectively purchasing beef from Audubon-certified farms and ranches…”

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Announcing Screenshot

Largest market-based regenerative grasslands partnership in the U.S.

This partnership will restore habitat and combat climate change on one million acres of working ranchland. Other groups are working to help farmers and ranchers connect farm viability, economic support, and climate-smart actions.

Panorama Organic Grass-Fed Meats to certify one million acres of wildlife habitat with the National Audubon’s Conservation Ranching Initiative.

The Audubon Conservation Ranching Initiative seeks to enhance the stewardship of grasslands for the benefit of birds. Birds have suffered significant decline over the past 50 years due to loss of U.S. grasslands to widespread development.

This initiative empowers consumers to support programs that restore bird populations via conservation practices by selectively purchasing beef nationwide from Audubon-certified farms and ranches, including Panorama Organic and other participating brands. The Audubon certification seal carries broad market appeal among consumers who care about the environment.

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William C. Gladish

Eastern Wildway

“…Today, we continue making significant progress toward creating a continental-scale Eastern Wildway—an extensive wildlife corridor linking eastern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. In October 2019, Wildlands Network released a Eastern Wildway map, representing a major step forward in realizing a vision of connectivity for this region. The map comprises a network of habitat cores—large natural areas, in dark green—and corridors—linkages between the cores, in light green, and integrates a wide range of existing data sets and input from state and federal agencies, other NGOs, and academic researchers and expert conservationists…”

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A bold initiative

While focused on adaptation, managing land can also be a central strategy in our efforts to slow down climate change.

The Land Conservancy is beginning an ambitious new initiative — to create the Western New York Wildway. The Wildway will be an extensive series of protected lands that connect the vast forests of northern Pennsylvania to the Great lakes, through to the Finger Lakes, the Adirondacks, and beyond. It will form part of the Eastern Wildway which runs all the way from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Wildway will allow plants and animals to migrate across the land as they once did, to move as climate changes, and to expand their ranges and ensure their survival…

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Solar Panels And Tractor
Judy Anderson

Solar siting on farmland: lessons learned from across the northeast

We need to transition to renewables as soon as possible to save the lands and waters we all care about. That means a lot of renewables—and they can't all be installed on rooftops and brownfields. With farms going out of business, renewables can help them stay in business if they are done well. You can help people know what that means.

Are you interested in how farmland viability and solar can work together? Would you like to be able to share examples of projects that improve soil health, farm diversity, and stem the loss of farmland? You might be interested in watching American Farmland Trust Northeast’s recent webinar focusing on Connecticut policy opportunities and the various policies in the northeast.

Across the country farmland is being lost at an alarming rate: 2,000 acres of agricultural land are converted every day. With the push to transition off fossil fuels, solar development could take more out of production. But it doesn’t have to be that way. States could invest in elevated, compatible solar that could help farmers and ranchers stay in business and keep the land in production.

See what your region can glean from this webinar. There’s a window to lead on this.

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Yellow Seedeater

$5.25 million fund launched for land conservation and climate change in the [southeast] region

Land trusts are increasingly connecting the dots on how climate change is impacting their communities—and working to provide authentic solutions.

Open Space Institute’s (OSI) conservation support within the Cradle of Southern Appalachia focus area will bolster the work of the Thrive Regional Partnership’s Natural Treasures Alliance. With the region’s population expected to double by mid-century, and recognizing that economic health is inextricably linked to preserving intact natural systems, the Alliance calls for the protection of a million additional acres of the area’s forestland over the next several decades. The resulting lands will be protected for climate, recreation, clean water, and quality of life.

To expand the impact of the Fund, OSI is also turning to organizations such as American Forests, The Nature Conservancy, and the Land Trust Alliance, to share expertise, amplify efforts, and coordinate the Fund’s investments. OSI is also collaborating with eastern Climate Alliance states, a growing coalition of 25 states committed to achieving emissions reductions set by the Paris climate accord..

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