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Wetland
Judy Anderson

U.S. eyes wetland restoration as hedge against climate change

Conserving land and water is an important part of natural climate solutions. Recognizing that we have to create a situation where they can add value, and thrive in a changing climate, is part of the longer-term strategy.

Researchers found that conserving existing wetlands, restoring 35 percent of marshes that have been impounded or drained, and allowing coastal wetlands to naturally migrate toward land as sea levels rise could create a substantial sink for CO2 and human-caused methane by 2050…

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Sheep
MN Board of Water and Soil Resources

Rotational grazing revives the prairie

Prairies, because of their deep-rooted plants, can slow down climate change by storing carbon in roots. Managing prairies for wildlife habitat, soil health, and climate change will also help with water retention and flood control. Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources is testing out regenerative agricultural and prairie health.

Foraging sheep, prairie plants, and soil health all benefited from a two-month experiment that allowed Chris Schmidt to rotationally graze on neighboring land enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

The 45-acre prairie restoration was overdue for mid-contract maintenance… “Songbirds. Butterflies. Bees. All that stuff is intertwined one way or another. We can’t have one without the other. Increase that diversity not only in plants but wildlife,” Schmidt said of grazing the landscape…

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Amherst Town Hall
Amherst Town Hall GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Capped landfill becomes conservation land

I know of at least one site, where the landfill ended up being conserved because it was grassland habitat; check out this article about the Kestrel Land Trust and how a landfill was conserved.

“A capped landfill on the south side of Belchertown Road will become Amherst’s newest conservation land.

In what town officials say will be a unique conservation restriction held by Kestrel Land Trust, the 53-acre site on which residents once disposed of their household garbage will be permanently protected.”

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Forest Friends
Three Rivers Land Trust

Community forest, close to home

Community forests can be part of the climate solution — and they can help increase public access to lands, close to home. To inspire greater action, you'll need to talk about how the two are interrelated.

By conserving the Sanford Community Forest, Three Rivers Land Trust has protected one of the largest remaining natural areas within city limits from development. Land conservation like this safeguards ecological health, and ensures the availability of land for public recreation and traditional uses long into the future. The Community Forest also provides vital water quality protection in the Salmon Falls River watershed and carbon storage in its extensive forests, to slow down climate change…

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Logging
Wikus de Wet/AFP via Getty Images

These World Heritage Forests have gone from removing carbon from the atmosphere to emitting it

With the international climate talks getting considerable press, there's been more interest in sharing climate-related impacts, as well as solutions. For example, you might find the research documenting that World Heritage forests are releasing more carbon than they absorb, of interest.

Human activity and climate change-fueled disasters have turned 10 of the planet’s internationally recognized forests, also known as World Heritage sites, from carbon absorbers into carbon emitters, researchers have found. The report from UNESCO found these sites can absorb approximately 190 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year — roughly half the amount of the United Kingdom’s annual fossil fuel emissions.

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Tree Plastic
iStock

Trees should be planted without plastic guards, says UK study

As land trusts ramp up natural climate solutions, including tree plantings, there are a lot of things to consider. Plastic tubing is one of them.

Since the 1970s, saplings have generally been planted in translucent plastic tubes to protect them from being eaten by browsing animals. However, the research — which analyzed the lifecycle of the plastic and trees — found it was better to lose a certain percentage of saplings than use plastic guards to protect them…

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pine cones
Judy Anderson

A climate mitigation opportunity in New England and New York

"WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF A CLIMATE CRISIS. A steadily increasing excess of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere, predominantly from fossil fuel use by humans, is driving rapid changes in the global climate system..."

This study quantifies the climate mitigation that could be achieved by avoiding deforestation in seven states across the northeastern US. Forest losses to development, agriculture and other land uses release carbon to the atmosphere, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and associated climate change.

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Deciduous Forest
Charles Krupa/AP

New England forests can help slow climate change. A new report shows exactly how much

If we are going to meet our climate goals, we need to support nature-based solutions, like forests and farms. That will mean finding ways to slow down climate change and get off fossil fuels so that forests and soils remain healthy.

The report by researchers at Clark University, called “Avoided Deforestation: A Climate Mitigation Opportunity in New England and New York,” provides hard numbers for officials trying to hit their climate goals — for instance, Massachusetts’ ambitious plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050…

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Trees
Judy Anderson

Five natural climate solutions to [help] mitigate climate change

Conserving land is important for a host of reasons: community identity, health, economic vitality, wildlife survival, clean water, cultural legacies, etc. Slowing down climate change is yet another. We have to be realistic that at least here in the U.S., natural climate solutions are likely becoming less effective — especially as these lands get increasingly stressed.

“The United States and other countries can immediately expand investment and support for natural climate solutions that provide the triple benefit of reducing emissions, taking carbon out of the atmosphere, and increasing the resiliency of the natural world…”

Here is something you can share with people who care about this — and let them know what is happening in your region and how it works in partnership with the shift to renewables.

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Mountains
John B Kalla

Rethinking forest carbon offsets

Conserving land is important for a host of reasons: community identity, health, economic vitality, wildlife survival, clean water, cultural legacies, etc. Slowing down climate change is yet another. We have to be realistic that at least here in the U.S., natural climate solutions are likely becoming less effective — especially as these lands get increasingly stressed.

Background: What is a forest carbon offset?

The net increase each year in the amount of carbon stored in the world’s forests and forest products is a critically important sink, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and offsets a meaningful portion of the world’s annual greenhouse gas emissions…

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