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Judy Anderson

Carbon farming

The IRA Bill provides considerable funding for agricultural climate-smart farming. You can share that information with the farmers and ranchers you know. You can also encourage local conservation groups to feature articles on how agriculture can be part of the climate solution.

Agriculture is part of the climate solution. Grasslands are one of the largest carbon sinks on the planet, capable of pulling enormous quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it in the soil.

Carbon farming is the process of farming and ranching to maximize the land’s ability to lock up CO2 and other greenhouse gases, making the land more resilient to the effects of a changing climate.

Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) partners with MALT farmers and ranchers to implement carbon farming practices, benefiting farmers, their land, and the climate…

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Land trusts ink deal to conserve 20 acres along Mill River in Williamsburg

Land trusts are working in partnership to expand their impact, support collective conservation efforts, and tap into state and federal funding.

Mark Wamsely, [Kestrel Land Trust’s] conservation director, highlighted the conservation as a way to combat climate change. The [press] release also notes the state’s 2022 Climate Change Assessment, which states that risk of flooding and erosion in the hilltowns is likely over the coming century.

“It’s important that we address climate change in a thoughtful way and don’t accidentally harm the very natural resources that are under threat,” said Wamsley, adding that, “Conserving forests is one way the Hilltowns can make a critical contribution to combating climate change.”

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Judy Anderson

Climate change website pages

Climate communication means understanding what people care about and linking solutions to the challenges of climate change. I spend hours, every month, trying to find land trust examples; very few of their websites come up with key word searches. That needs to change.

Land trusts often wonder how they can increase their efforts to connect with people around climate change, meet them where they are, and inspire local, regional, and national action.

Many land trusts start with nature-based climate solutions as a way to connect. However, it’s important for people to also understand what they can do as individuals based upon their interests and capacity, in addition to what the land trust is doing.

If you are interested in enhancing climate messaging or raising the profile of your local land trust, you might find the Coastal Prairie Conservancy’s climate pages of interest.

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Judy Anderson

Mississippi Valley Conservancy planting trees to help combat climate change

Talking about climate change is increasingly important. To be successful we need to link the challenges to solutions, be authentic in how much nature-based solutions can do, and find ways for people to get involved.

Carol Abrahamzon, Executive Director of the Mississippi Valley Conservancy, met with the local TV station to talk briefly about a restoration project they are working on.

“Abrahamzon says these trees are essential to providing a healthy habitat to the Coulee Region. The trees to be planted at the Conservancy’s Trempealeau Lakes nature preserve include swamp white oak, silver maple, and river birch.

Abrahamzon says that the selected tree species are native to the Driftless Area and will adapt well to this site and require little care after they become established. All of these benefits strengthen the land’s resilience to a changing climate…”

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Spring Map
The Washington Post

When will spring come? Or has it already? Look up where you live.

Many of us felt unsettled this "winter" as the trees showed signs of spring, as early as November. It appears that this was a trend across several regions. These maps are useful to visualize these new issues.

All across the east, naturalists are exasperated. As the rest of us luxuriated in this winter’s uncommon mildness, gardeners and wildlife biologists watched with rising pique as one of the earliest springs in recent memory threw nature’s rhythms out of whack.

Ignorant of the human calendar, nature instead responds to the gradual accumulation of heat at the beginning of each year. If the daily average temperature is above freezing, that sends a signal to plants and animals that life is again preparing to grow. Each year, the USA National Phenology Network — phenology is the study of seasonal change — keeps track of when leaves sprout as heat accumulates across the country.

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Trees are moving north from global warming. Look up how your city [region] could change.

Species are trying to adapt to a rapidly changing climate, and studies are showing that situations like this are becoming more common due to the effects of climate change on trees and other plants. The question is, will they adapt quickly enough?

As the climate warms, horticulturalists are trying out species adapted to more southern climates. Michael Hagen, curator of the native plant and rock gardens at the New York Botanical Garden, told me recently that his colleagues are planting southern live oaks, known for the Spanish moss that drapes, ghostlike, from their limbs.

Live oaks can grow as far north as Zone 7, according to data provided by the Davey Tree Expert Company. By century’s end, they could grow in Chicago and up into Michigan, while south Florida could become too hot for them.

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Sheep And Solar
Serkan Ates/Oregon State University

Agrivoltaics bill introduced in U.S. Senate

Based on a recent study, the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Agriculture would develop a regulatory definition of agrivoltaics. The bill, according to NSAC staff, comes with an authorization of appropriations of $15 million for 2024 through 2028.

According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), the study would aim to answer many questions about agrivoltaics, including what panel designs are best for livestock versus crops; what animal breeds are best suited to graze under panels; how to handle fencing, manure, and other livestock considerations in solar panel systems; and how growing crops under panels impacts yields, soil moisture, and other factors.

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Liana cutting in selectively logged forests increases both carbon sequestration and timber yields

Recent studies from The Nature Conservancy and others show that restoring and protecting nature could provide up to a third of the emission reductions needed by 2030, annually capturing up to 11 billion metric tons of CO2. For a deeper dive into the scientific research behind these findings, check out this article.

Infestations of trees by woody climbing plants (i.e., lianas) are common and increasing in an estimated 250 Mha of the 1 billion hectares of mixed-species tropical and temperate forest subjected to selective logging. Cutting lianas that impede the growth of future crop trees (FCTs) in these forests would sequester carbon at low cost and increase timber yields. We estimate that application of this treatment to five liana-infested FCTs per hectare across the 250 Mha of selectively logged forest would result in 0.8 PgCO2 of additional carbon removals by the liberated trees over 30 years at a direct cost of well less than $1.00 MgCO2−1.

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Liana liberation: New study shows freeing trees from woody vines is a profitable natural climate solution

Recent studies from The Nature Conservancy and others show that restoring and protecting nature could provide up to a third of the emission reductions needed by 2030, annually capturing up to 11 billion metric tons of CO2. However, those same studies note that nature needs us to reduce fossil fuel consumption, significantly, for nature to thrive... let alone survive.

Liberating trees from their burdens of woody vines (lianas) is an extremely cost-effective way to improve the economic value of managed forests and help mitigate climate change, according to new research published in Forest Ecology and Management  by scientists from the University of Florida, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, and partner institutions…

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Fire And Smoke Map

Maps: Tracking air quality and smoke from Canada wildfires

I've been thinking about climate change a lot these days. Last week, the wildfires in Canada continued to rage, with smoke penetrating the northeast to the point of unprecedented unhealthy air.

Smoke and haze lingers over sections of North America, as polluted air continues to spread from hundreds of wildfires burning throughout Canada.

This is the current status of air quality across the United States and Canada. (Here’s a guide to understanding air quality readings.)

In early June, the level of particulate matter in the air from smoke became so unhealthy that many U.S. cities set records. Some Canadian cities experienced far worse conditions. At points, it was hazardous to breathe everywhere from Minnesota and Indiana to sections of the Mid-Atlantic region and the South, according to AirNow, a U.S government data source.

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