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Fall Pond
Steve Neel

How the Community Forest Program works

Community forests can be part of the climate solution — and help increase public access to lands, close to home.

“The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (Community Forest Program) of the Forest Service offers a unique opportunity for communities to acquire and conserve forests that provide public access and recreational opportunities, protect vital water supplies and wildlife habitat, serve as demonstration sites for private forest landowners, and provide economic benefits from timber and non-timber products…”

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Forest
Flickr

Community Forests: A path to prosperity and connection

Community forests can be part of the climate solution — and help increase public access to lands, close to home.

“Community forests are protected forestlands that contribute to healthy, flourishing communities. Importantly, they offer residents and community members a direct say in how these lands are stewarded over time…”

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Fern Forest
iStock

New special report on the benefits of community forest

Community forests can be part of the climate solution — and help increase public access to lands, close to home.

The Trust for Public Land announced the release of a special report, “Community Forests: A Path to Prosperity and Connection,” in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and with generous support from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. The report, and accompanying handouts, takes a case-study approach to understanding and exploring the numerous economic benefits provided by community forests created through the U.S. Forest Service’s Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (CFP).

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Solar Install
Taos Land Trust

Producing energy while protecting the land

Some of the most innovative land trusts are small and nimble. In 2017, Taos Land Trust was already focused on climate change and modeling how to make a difference. Today, other land trusts are realizing that compatible solar is going to need to be at the core of their conservation efforts — just like invasive species management.

“Part of our work as a community land trust is to help reframe the energy debate and build community energy resiliency.

…[W]e flipped the switch on our first solar energy array and as of today more than 50% of the energy we use to run Taos Land Trust is generated by our new solar panels. The 2kW photovoltaic array sitting on our downtown Taos property was installed through a generous grant from the PPC Solar Photovoltaic Donation Program. This is a huge move for us…”

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Owls
Gorder Ellmers/Grassland Bird Trust

Argyle bird trust working with solar developer to conserve more land

With so many birds at risk due to climate change, finding ways for renewables to work with them is increasingly important.

“We’re excited about this collaboration and look forward to working with Eden on future mitigation projects,” said Grassland Bird Trust Executive Director Laurie LaFond. “We believe that renewable energy, when done right, can play an important role in restoring populations of grassland birds to sustainable levels.”

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Healthy Sprout
iStock

Climate change affects soil health

Installing millions of acres of solar that are mowed like lawns, to me, is a gigantic waste. Instead, we could promote elevated solar that allows for a diversity of farming and ranching underneath and between the panels.

For too long, we’ve been saying that solar should avoid farmland, based upon soil type (meaning, avoiding lands of “prime” or “statewide” importance, etc.). Yet given that we know that climate change is stressing soils, and making farming and ranching more difficult, the question could better be framed: “How can solar (and wind) help farm and ranch viability, water retention, and soil health?”

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Dawn Fishin
San Bernardino County

Six habitat improvements that are also climate solutions

One of the challenges of working to slow down climate change is realizing that current lands and waters are already doing an important part of the job. Conserving them, as is, won't increase their ability to do more; managing them with climate change in mind might — and it will help reduce the chances that climate change will get worse due to land loss or conversion.

When you think about who cares about slowing down climate change, don’t forget about hunters, anglers, and those who have a long-standing connection with the land.

There is no one silver bullet nor single set of actions that will turn the tides entirely — climate change can only be addressed with a comprehensive strategy that involves all of us and all the tools we have. Thankfully, this includes habitat conservation measures that are already supported by sportsmen and women.

Here are six habitat improvement strategies that provide this win-win proposition: better hunting and fishing opportunities and fewer climate-change-driven impacts to fish and wildlife….

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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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Forest
Wikimedia

Buffam Brook Community Forest

Bounded by Buffam, Boyden, and North Valley Roads, this 289-acre Town of Pelham conservation land consists of the Clifford E. Lippincott Conservation Area enhanced by five parcels that were added between 2017-2019 with funding from the U.S. Forest Service Community Forest Program, which supports local acquisition of land to create a publicly owned forest that is managed for the educational, recreational and economic benefit of the community.

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Forest
Wikimedia

Kestrel Land Trust acquires 161 acres of “core area” in Pelham, Mass.

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.

The Kestrel Land Trust and the Town of Pelham Conservation Commission have acquired a 161-acre parcel of land in Pelham, Mass., that will serve as a valuable natural asset for both people and wildlife. The Buffam Brook Community Forest, which lies within a high priority terrestrial “core area” in the Connect the Connecticut landscape conservation design, will be a publicly owned forest managed for the educational, recreational, and economic benefit of the community, thanks to collaboration with several private woodland owners.

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