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Climate Change & Conservation eNews


Film Discussion Advert

Film Series Featuring Climate Change: Woodstock Land Conservancy partners with community organizations

This might be something your land trust could consider for later this year.

Inspired by Project Drawdown, which offers 100 practical solutions to reverse global warming, this year’s program focus is on the lifecycle of food and its components which rank high in their contribution to producing greenhouse gases. Woodstock Land Conservancy and others are providing a forum for people to address their impact.

Check out their film series in partnership with the Woodstock NY Transition, Woodstock Jewish Congregation, and Saint Gregory’s Episcopal Church for a monthly evening film, presentation, and discussion on four successive topics including regenerative agriculture, plant-rich diet, food waste, and composting.

They welcome a lively discussion about working together locally to make choices that lessen our impacts.

Presented the last Monday of the month from January through April, the Film & Discussion Series is free and open to all ages. Donations are welcome and help to support future programs.

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Rocks In The Forest With Sun
Judy Anderson

How much carbon can forests absorb? Michigan research in partnership with land trusts and conservation groups

Leelanau Conservancy and Little Traverse Conservancy have partnered with a number of local watershed groups and the University of Michigan to create Nature Change—Conversations about Climate and Conservation.

In this short video, forest ecology researcher Dr. Luke Nave (University of Michigan Biological Station) describes recently completed research to quantify the amount of carbon captured from the atmosphere by areas of reforestation throughout the United States. In referring to reforesting land, Nave says that includes areas that once were cultivated and areas that experience forms of deforestation such as fire.

Using well-documented research data and direct measurements, Nave and his colleagues focused only on those areas that are being reforested…

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Australian Forest
N Cirani/De Agostini/Getty Images

‘Whole thing is unravelling’: climate change reshaping Australia’s forests (There are warning signs here in the U.S. too)

While trees can, and do, play a role in slowing down climate change, they are increasingly under stress. We will have to ramp up renewables and energy efficiency to save the lands and waters—and the trees that can help—from ecological collapse...

Australia’s forests are being reshaped by climate change as droughts, heatwaves, rising temperatures, and bushfires drive ecosystems towards collapse, ecologists have told Guardian Australia.

Trees are dying, canopies are getting thinner, and the rate that plants produce seeds is falling. Ecologists have long predicted that climate change would have major consequences for Australia’s forests. Now they believe those impacts are unfolding…

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Katharine Hayhoe Tedtalk

Land trusts need to talk about climate change

How do you talk about climate change successfully?

How do you talk to someone who doesn’t believe in climate change? Not by rehashing the same data and facts we’ve been discussing for years, says climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe.

In this inspiring, pragmatic talk, Hayhoe shows how the key to having a real discussion is to connect over shared values like family, community, and religion—and to prompt people to realize that they already care about a changing climate.

“We can’t give in to despair,” she says. “We have to go out and look for the hope we need to inspire us to act—and that hope begins with a conversation, today.”

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Fence Line
Rick Payette

How to talk about climate change

The Land Trust Alliance and the Open Space Institute undertook a study to see how land trust supporters felt about their land trust talking about climate change. There was strong agreement that land trusts should, or could, talk about climate change.

That said, regardless of whether or not land trust supporters believe the data on climate change, I would suggest that it is a moral and ethical duty for your land trust to talk about climate change—and to provide ways people can slow it down.

The question is often, “How?” The report offers some suggestions on how to frame climate change as part of your communication and engagement strategy.

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Mohawk Invite

A local land trust incorporates climate change into its community event.

Could climate change be part of your events or community programs?

The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, located in rural, upstate New York, is featuring a panel of speakers to focus on climate change at the Conservancy’s Annual Awards Dinner. This afternoon program will combine cocktails and awards with dessert—and a panel discussion at the end.

Mark King, Executive Director, notes that, “Our board and staff, as well as many in our community, want us to be stepping up our work on climate change. We are doing just that. This is a great way to let folks know—and inspire them at the same time.”

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Kestral Land Trust Sign
Kestral Land Trust

Becoming part of your community of change: Land trusts are joining coalitions and policy work to help slow climate change

Kestrel Land Trust recently decided to support the Citizen’s Climate Lobby as part of a coalition to support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

“We recognize that climate change is a threat to all we conserve and hold dear,” explained Kristin DeBoer, E.D. of Kestral Land Trust. “We periodically advocate for conservation funding and policies to promote conservation—this is in the same category for us. The Land Trust Alliance has done a great job at clarifying that lobbying, and joining coalitions, can be part of our conservation work.”

Scott Jackson, Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts and Kestrel’s Board Chair, notes, “We recognize that climate change is a threat to the ecological and agricultural integrity of the land that we are conserving in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts.”

Jackson goes on to say that, “In addition to positioning land conservation as a natural solution to climate change, our land trust is looking for other ways to take action. Being a part of the climate change advocacy community is similar to the need to advocate for conservation funding to acquire land. This is just as important.”

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Rancher Installing Solar Panel
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Three steps to better climate conversations and a communication strategy

Wondering how to communicate about climate change? Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, one of the world’s climate change leaders and scientists, provides tips on how to connect with people around climate change.

Remember that the vast majority of Americans want action on climate change. Many feel helpless about what to do.

Here are some tips on how to talk about climate change. They really are the same in any engagement strategy…

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Do you have questions about divestment and socially responsible investment?

The Land Trust Alliance provides some thoughtful information on their climate change website about divestment and socially responsible investment.  You may find it helpful when discussing whether this is a path your land trust wants to take as a moral, ethical, and financial statement.

As the financial world looks at the risks associated with fossil fuels, others are considering different investment strategies, as noted in this article earlier this year from Forbes.

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‘How Can We Understand The Miserable Failure Of Contemporary Thinking To Come To Grips With What Now Confronts Us ’
Piyal Adhikary/EPA

The great climate silence: we are on the edge of the abyss but we ignore it

What can you and your local land trust do? Talk about it. You'll be helping to end the “cone of silence” and connect the dots to what people care about.

After 200,000 years of modern humans on a 4.5 billion-year-old Earth, we have arrived at new point in history: the Anthropocene. The change has come upon us with disorienting speed. It is the kind of shift that typically takes two or three or four generations to sink in.

Our best scientists tell us insistently that a calamity is unfolding, that the life-support systems of the Earth are being damaged in ways that threaten our survival. Yet in the face of these facts we carry on as usual.

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