puffin in flight

Climate Change & Conservation eNews

Communications

German Farmer
AP News | Martin Meissner

Sweet return: German farmer gets both solar power and apples

Land trusts and farmers are interested in figuring out how agrivoltaics can help increase farm and ranch viability, soil health, and water management — and allow families to remain on their farms for generations to come.

Many of the apple trees growing beneath solar panels have been producing bountiful electricity during this year’s unusually sun-rich summer, while providing the fruit below with much-needed shade.

“The idea is simple,” said Nachtwey, whose farm lies in Gelsdorf, an hour’s drive south of Cologne. “To protect the orchard, without reducing the available growing surface and in particular maintaining production. On top of that there’s the solar electricity being generated on the same land.”

Large-scale solar installations on arable land are becoming increasingly popular in Europe and North America, as farmers seek to make the most of their land and establish a second source of revenue.

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Farm And Clouds
Mississippi Valley Conservancy

Mississippi Valley Conservancy: Climate change

There are land trusts like the Mississippi Valley Conservancy that are working to share stories of how solar can become farmer-first, rather than a detriment to farming.

Together, we can make a difference

What is it about the Driftless area you love? Is it the foggy mornings overlooking the valley? Or going fishing with your family in the spring? Perhaps it’s the sounds of migrating sandhill cranes and the call of the spring peepers.

Too often we think of climate change as occurring on a global scale or something that will happen in the future. Yet climate change already is causing profound changes with damaging effects to the land and water you love. Wildlife habitat, lakes and streams, and farmland, right here in the Driftless Area, are at risk as never before.

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Leaves
Judy Anderson

New England’s climate imperative: our forests as a natural climate solution

Land trusts across the country are working to conserve woodlands and forests, while communicating the importance of woodland management and protection for the climate.

In this study, five pathways are developed and assessed that could increase the climate mitigation potential of New England’s forests:

  • Avoided deforestation
  • Wildland reserves
  • Improved forest management
  • Mass timber construction
  • Urban and suburban forests
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CA
Paul Lum, California wine grape vineyard

Conquering cover crop challenges

Together, demonstration projects, research, and sharing the results as they unfold is a powerful way to increase community engagement.

Conquering Cover Crop Challenges from Coast to Coast project, funded through a CIG On-Farm Trials grant of $2.6 million, will test innovative solutions that will help overcome regional and crop-specific barriers to cover crop adoption on fifteen farms in five states and three geographic regions.

The project includes 5 years of evaluation of comprehensive soil, economic, and social factors and outcomes. Specifically, the demonstration project is…

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Author
WeConservePA

Dr. Michael Mann, Keynote Speaker

Land trusts can be an important part of the climate solution. We have an opportunity to continue to amplify the change that needs to happen.

Dr. Michael Mann will speak at the Pennsylvania Land Trust Conference in April 2023. A world-renowned climate scientist and climate communicator, Dr. Michael E. Mann is Presidential Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania, with a secondary appointment in the Annenberg School for Communication. His most recent book is The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet.

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Corn Field
USDA

Learn more about Conservation Innovation Grants

Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) is a competitive program that supports the development of new tools, approaches, practices, and technologies to further natural resource conservation on private lands.

Through creative problem solving and innovation, CIG partners work to address our nation’s water quality, air quality, soil health and wildlife habitat challenges, all while improving agricultural operations.

There are three annual Conservation Innovation Grants funding opportunities…

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Cows
Judy Anderson

Healthy soil grants

Funding is increasingly available to improve farming practices, sometimes called regenerative agriculture, to help slow down climate change and improve water quality, soil health, and clean air.

Vermont farmers have an essential role to play in combating climate change. Some farming practices can trap carbon and keep it out of the atmosphere, while supporting wildlife habitat, healthier soils, and cleaner water. The challenge can be sustaining profitability while making significant changes.

Which practices are worth the investment? And how long will they take to pay off?

To answer these questions and more, we are partnering with Bio-Logical Capital and the University of Vermont on a Conservation Innovation Grant funded by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. This five-year research project will provide direct payments to Vermont farmers who agree to implement farming practices that improve soil health

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Forest Light
Unsplash

Rescuing the planet

This webinar might be of interest to those who would like to take action to slow the extinction emergency, as well as slowing down climate change as part of that effort. You could share it with others.

On Dec 1st at 7p.m. eastern, join the Natural Areas Conservancy (of New York City) and the Cary Institute for a virtual book talk featuring author and scholar Tony Hiss. He will discuss his new book, Rescuing the Planet – Protecting Half the Land to Heal the Earth, in conversation with Cary President Dr. Joshua Ginsberg and the Natural Areas Conservancy’s Executive Director Sarah Charlop-Powers.

In Rescuing the Planet, Hiss takes stock of the “superorganism” that is Earth and what we can do to keep it, and ourselves, alive. He invites [people] to understand the gravity of the problems we face, and makes the case for why protecting half the land by 2025 is vital to halting the extinction crisis and ensuring the health of our planet.

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Peat Bog
GRLT

Rockland’s biggest, oldest ecological secret

Check out this slide show Georges River Land Trust used to communicate about the importance of peat bogs. It's very effective as a communication tool; you learn a lot even just by skimming. Perhaps you can use something like this to communicate about an important natural resource in your area...

What’s a peat bog? Where’s the Rockland Bog? What’s special about it? Why conserve it? How can you make a difference?

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Climate Action Plan

Mississippi Valley Conservancy: Climate Action Plan

"Together, we can address one of the greatest challenges our region has ever faced..."

What is it about the Driftless area you love? Is it the foggy mornings overlooking the valley? Or going fishing with your family in the spring? Perhaps it’s the sounds of migrating sandhill cranes and the call of the spring peepers.

Too often we think of climate change as occurring on a global scale or something that will happen in the future. Yet climate change already is causing profound changes with damaging effects to the land and water you love: wildlife habitat, lakes and streams, and farmland, right here in the Driftless Area, are at risk as never before.

Read More »