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Harvard, America’s richest university, will divest from fossil fuels

When your land trust or community organizations divest from fossil fuels, it's important to talk about why. Most will stress the moral and climate imperative. It's also helpful to talk about avoiding "stranded assets" and ensuring that conservation organizations have a strong footing for future generations.

The action is likely to have ripple effects in higher education and beyond, given Harvard’s $41 billion endowment and its iconic status among American institutions. For years, Harvard resisted calls to cut off funding for oil and gas firms despite demands from many students, alumni, and outside advocates.

“We must act now as citizens, as scholars, and as an institution to address this crisis on as many fronts as we have at our disposal,” Harvard President Larry S. Bacow said recently in a statement to the university community…

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World On Fire
Mark Garlick / Getty Images

What we know: The reality, risks, and response to climate change

"At Conservation Hawks, our job is to identify and address the single biggest threat to our hunting and fishing. That’s why we focus all our time and energy on the most important issue for sportsmen: Climate Change."

“The overwhelming evidence of human-caused climate change documents both current impacts with significant costs and extraordinary future risks to society and natural systems. The scientific community has convened conferences, published reports, spoken out at forums and proclaimed, through statements by virtually every national scientific academy and relevant major scientific organization — including the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) — that climate change puts the well-being of people of all nations at risk.”

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Tree Overlook
Unsplash

Land restoration for carbon sequestration

As climate change stresses natural systems, and invasives become increasingly challenging to control, it's going to be an ongoing strategy adjustment to clarify what, where, and how we are going to manage natural lands.

Striving to restore these affected areas back to their Native Plant Community type helps provide high-quality habitat for native plants and wildlife, helps protect uncommon and endangered species populations in the state, and protects vital essential ecosystem services such as clean water, clean air, and carbon sequestration.

The Minnesota Land Trust conducts three common types of restoration projects across the state: prairie restoration, wetland restoration, and woody invasives removal…

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Kids In Nature
Kestral Land Trust

New community forest promotes climate change resilience

The Town of Pelham Conservation Commission and Kestrel Land Trust recently announced the acquisition of 161-acres of woodlands from private owners to create the Buffam Brook Community Forest, west of the Quabbin Reservoir, the second of its kind in the State of Massachusetts. The Community Forest and Open Space Program is a United States Forest Service Grant that funds local acquisition of land to create a publicly owned forest that is managed for the educational, recreational and economic benefit of the community.

This project is the culmination of years of work between the landowners, Kestrel Land Trust and the Town of Pelham to protect this important landscape, which supports endangered species habitat, local water quality, and climate change resilience.

[Note: You can find additional information here]

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Forest Floor
Judy Anderson

Working Woodlands Program

Are you interested in assisting landowners with climate management goals? This is a good example of how being helpful and welcoming can inspire greater change. Make sure you follow the state and federal funding discussions in case there are resources to help land trusts initiate similar programs. Foundations, companies, and donors might be interested in supporting this effort, too.

The principle behind Working Woodlands is simple: landowners agree to manage their forests sustainably in return for conservation and management assistance with improving the value and the health of their land.

Specifically, TNC works with landowners to analyze a property’s potential as wildlife habitat and for fighting climate change. In return, participating landowners receive…

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Ev Charging
Mendocino Land Trust

EV Stations Complete

I've been reaching out to my Congressman to see if there is a way to tap federal and/or state funding for land trusts to install electric vehicle chargers at their conservation areas and local parks. That's something you might want to consider, too. Mendocino Land Trust worked on this very issue several years ago.

“Mendocino County is on the road to a cleaner and more sustainable future with the installation of 13 new electric vehicle charging stations along the coast and in Willits. Thanks to a $498,040 grant from the California Energy Commission awarded to Mendocino Land Trust in 2014, a string of new electric vehicle charging stations are up and running.”

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World On Fire
SOREN HALD/GETTY IMAGES

Why psychology should be a part of the fight against climate change

There have long been concerns in the climate science community about possible public “fatigue” at being bombarded with dire news of the worsening climate, and having this lead to widespread dread or overwhelm, which can create an emotional barrier to actually taking action.

“Climate change isn’t just a political, social and economic issue. It’s also a deeply psychological one — and now, behavioral scientists are using psychology to better understand the complex relationship between people and nature.”

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Megan
Judy Anderson

The antidote to climate dread

As folks who care about wildlife, agriculture, and our communities, the reality of climate change is increasingly distressing. We need to help each other find hope, and ways to take meaningful action. See if this is something you could share with others.

There have long been concerns in the climate science community about possible public “fatigue” at being bombarded with dire news of the worsening climate, and having this lead to widespread dread or overwhelm, which can create an emotional barrier to actually taking action.

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Saving Us Book Cover

Good read: Katharine Hayhoe’s “Saving Us”

Check out Katharine Hayhoe's new book, "Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World."

“When it comes to climate impacts and climate action, there is a narrow path between despair and hope.”

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Ethan Winter TNC

AFT welcomes solar and conservation specialist

American Farmland Trust is gearing up to find creative solutions that increase agricultural viability and slow down climate change. This work includes finding opportunities to work with solar companies, communities, and farmers in the Northeast.

American Farmland Trust welcomes Ethan Winter as the Northeast Solar Specialist. In this role, Winter will work across regional and national programs to help set and implement AFTs strategy for solar energy generation and farmland conservation. Winter joins AFT with an extensive background in solar development throughout the Northeast.

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