growth of sunflowers

Climate Change & Conservation eNews


Judy Anderson

Exploring carbon sequestration

By permanently protecting forests, and increasing carbon sequestration, Whatcom Land Trust is working diligently to increase climate resiliency. In partnership with local governments, tribal leaders, businesses, and individuals, they are all working towards a local solution to the global issue of climate change.

“[They] are following the model from other land trusts. There is a cost for land trusts to manage forests for increased carbon sequestration. [They] aren’t a commercial forestry operation and need revenue in order to manage forests.

Carbon offsets and the carbon market can provide resources for land trusts to restore large commercial forest landscapes, and support the ongoing cost of stewardship and restoration that a land trust is responsible for.

Whatcom Land Trust would only take on a carbon sequestration project that supports our mission, improves the forest ecosystem, and sequesters more carbon than it would otherwise…”

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Two groups want to put focus on carbon credits from urban forests

Urban woodlands haven't been seen as a key part of the climate solution. That might change if they are managed in a way that helps them survive. It will also enhance the lives of people who live near them.

National Public Radio discusses urban carbon credit work. Lookout Mountain Conservancy is participating in this effort.

“We know trees can help address climate change. A forest sucks carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That can be sold as a carbon credit to companies looking to offset their environmental impact. But the way those credits are calculated has long been scrutinized. And two groups want to put focus on urban forests. Bellamy Pailthorp of KNKX explains…”

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Carbon Credit
Peter J Thompson

Featuring carbon tax credits

There's a growing realization that we need to support efforts to transition off fossil fuel as soon as possible if nature, farms, and our communities are going to thrive. Land trusts are starting to convey this to their supporters and the public.

Conserving Carolina, an accredited land trust that works to conserve natural lands, community lands and trails, and farmland, is beginning to increase their climate communications and inspire greater change. In this Facebook post, they noted:

“In Canada, families are getting their first checks from carbon reductions! That’s thanks to a policy much like the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act that Conserving Carolina (and hundreds of other nonprofits) have endorsed in the U.S. This climate solution would put a price on carbon and give the money back to the American people.

Three cheers for our partners the Citizens Climate Lobby who successfully supported this policy in Canada and who are mobilizing grassroots support for it in the U.S.! Citizen lobbyists are the heart of this campaign. If you want to be a part of the solution, find your local chapter of CCL and get involved.”

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Judy Anderson

Sequestering carbon while making breakfast sweeter

Are you curious about how land trusts are tapping into carbon credits? This might be of interest.

Vermont’s private forests play a key role in mitigating climate change — they store four times as much carbon as the state’s vehicles release each year. Selling forest carbon credits to companies and individuals working to reduce their carbon footprints provides a new source of income for individual landowners like Jessica Boone and Everett McGinley in Vermont’s Cold Hollows region, which helps them protect their forests. Unfortunately, carbon markets can be too costly for most owners of small forest parcels to join.

That’s why the Vermont Land Trust formed Vermont Forest Carbon LLC and teamed up with The Nature Conservancy, the Caron Dynamics Lab at the University of Vermont, and Cold Hollow to Canada, a local land stewardship and conservation organization, helping landowners overcome the cost barrier by working together as a single carbon project.

This is the first large-scale aggregated forest carbon project in the country, with fifteen neighbors teaming up to sell carbon credits from their land…

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Healthy Soil

Quantifying economic and environmental benefits of soil health

I’m so excited about the release of new American Farmland Trust research that proves soil health benefits go right to farmers’ bottom line.

Many farmers believe the scientific evidence that soil health practices improve soil and water quality. However, they are reluctant to change management techniques without knowing how much the soil health practices will cost or benefit them. So, AFT found “soil health successful farmers,” and conducted benefit-cost analyses.

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Hand On The Soil

The math is in: Soil health practices produce real return on investment

Climate change messaging focuses on shared values and providing solutions. While there is a great deal of talk about healthy soils sequestering carbon and other greenhouse gases, farm and ranch viability is central to successful agricultural climate solutions.

Our nation’s farmers and ranchers care deeply about the land. They want to use practices that improve soil health and protect water quality, like no-till or strip till, cover crops, and nutrient management.

But, farming is a business like any other. If the numbers don’t add up, it’s hard to make improvements that are good for the environment.

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Urban Trees

Any infrastructure plan also needs to invest in trees and green space

The American Jobs Plan proposal would significantly boost community infrastructure as well as jobs — many of which would support long-term investments in conservation and reduce the impacts and pace of climate change. Is your local land conservation group following this?

It’s up to community leaders, neighborhood organizations, nonprofits, and more to ensure that green strategies are not an afterthought but a critical foundation of any infrastructure plan introduced in Congress…

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Rancher With Cattle
Judy Anderson

FACT SHEET: The American Jobs Plan

The American Jobs Plan proposal would significantly boost community infrastructure as well as jobs — many of which would support long-term investments in conservation and reduce the impacts and pace of climate change. Is your local land conservation group following this?

“While the American Rescue Plan is changing the course of the pandemic and delivering relief for working families, this is no time to build back to the way things were. This is the moment to reimagine and rebuild a new economy. The American Jobs Plan is an investment in America that will create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and position the United States to out-compete China. Public domestic investment as a share of the economy has fallen by more than 40 percent since the 1960s. The American Jobs Plan will invest in America in a way we have not invested since we built the interstate highways and won the Space Race…”

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NRDC website

30 x 30: NRDC’S commitment to protect nature and life on earth

This initiative provides a ray of hope into our collective efforts to conserve what has become even more important to our communities during the pandemic.

“To prevent mass extinctions and bolster resilience to climate change, scientists warn that we must protect at least 30 percent of our lands, rivers, lakes, and wetlands by 2030. At the same time, we must also fully and highly protect at least 30 percent of our oceans by 2030 to help safeguard marine ecosystems and fisheries that provide food, jobs, and cultural sustenance to billions around the world.

We have the tools to create a better, healthier future for our planet—and ourselves—but we must act now…”

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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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