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Fire
iStock

USDA Forest Service Chief Randy Moore’s statement announcing actions the Forest Service will take to resume its prescribed fire program safely and effectively after completion of its 90-day national review  

We are turning to prescribed fires to help reduce the risk of the uncontrollable, high-intensity wildfires that are common today. Prescribed fires mimick lower-intensity fires that used to occur naturally from lightning strikes or under the stewardship of tribes.

Washington D.C.,September 8, 2022 — USDA Forest Service Chief Randy Moore released the following statement announcing actions the Forest Service will take to resume its prescribed fire program safely and effectively after completion of its 90-day national review…

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Smokey
Shelby Herbert / KUNR Public Radio

Fire weather extremes make prescribed burns riskier, but more essential than ever

Prescribed fire is an important tool to help reduce the risk of the uncontrollable, high-intensity wildfires that are common today by mimicking lower-intensity fires that used to occur naturally from lightning strikes or under the stewardship of tribes.

“Although prescribed fire is one of the most effective ways to reduce wildfire risk, this was a necessary decision in light of recent prescribed fire escapes,” U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore wrote in a national directive in September, announcing the agency would resume prescribed burns following the pause. “This also reflects the growing recognition that extreme conditions of overgrown forests, climate change, and more than a century of rigorous fire suppression are influencing fire behavior in ways we had never seen before…”

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Forest
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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Sonoma Youtube

Video: Unpacking 30×30 for Sonoma County

Check out this video. This might be something you could share with your circles.

The Land Trust is playing a key role in helping the state and nation achieve the 30×30 goal through purchase of land and stewardship of 17 nature preserves managed for biodiversity conservation, and most of their conservation easements which were originally identified for their unique biological value.

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Sonoma Lt
Stephen Joseph

Sonoma Land Trust and 30×30

From the San Pablo baylands, through the Marin Coast-Blue Ridge Critical Linkage, and into the Russian River watershed, Sonoma Land Trust has projects and programs focused on the region's most threatened species and habitat areas.

“California has joined over 72 countries, including the United States, in setting a goal of conserving 30% of our lands and coastal waters by 2030. Achieving this goal will allow California to protect biodiversity, expand equitable access to nature, and build resilience to climate change. Scientists warn that we must meet the 30×30 goal to avoid the worst impacts of a warming planet.

“From the San Pablo baylands, through the Marin Coast-Blue Ridge Critical Linkage, and into the Russian River watershed, Sonoma Land Trust has projects and programs focused on our most threatened species and habitat areas. Sonoma Land Trust is playing a key role in helping the state and the nation achieve the 30×30 goal through the purchase of land and stewardship of our 17 nature preserves managed for biodiversity conservation and most of our conservation easements which were originally identified for their unique biological value….”

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Sheep
Judy Anderson

Douglas County sheep farm working to restore soil and build community, agrivoltaics

"We are an integrated farming business, but we also aggregate and provide market access for other farmers. So instead of having to rely on just a few commodities, smaller farms can diversify their portfolio. When they can diversify their portfolio they have more power over the economics of farming and they can make those changes that help conserve soil.” Another aspect of Jacqueline’s collaborative vision for healthy ecosystems and agriculture economies is agrivoltaics — which involves the simultaneous use of land for both solar power generation and agriculture..."

“Co-locating farming and clean energy production on agricultural land creates rural economic resiliency, provides land access for new and underserved farmers, and builds vital agricultural infrastructure. Unlocking these bottlenecks will create food security that allows small farmers to compete in a global extractive market while focusing on restorative farming practices that heal the land”…

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us
Wildlands Network

Continental Wildways

The Eastern Wildway runs all the way from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Initiatives of this size and scope play a big role in what we need to make an impact.

Sustaining biodiversity requires a big-picture vision. Our projects are strategically positioned across Canada, the United States and Mexico to preserve nature at a continental scale.

Using the principles of conservation biology, our founders identified the core native wildlife habitat areas and the corridors that connect them. We call them Wildways. This innovative concept has fundamentally shaped conservation projects across North America.

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Western Ny
Western NY Wildway

A bold initiative

There's a window of time in which land trusts, communities, and conservation groups can conserve wildlife conservation corridors before they are lost to unrelenting development. Results of this also mean protecting waterways, soil health, and community spaces.

The Western New York Land Conservancy is leading an effort to create the WNY Wildway, an ambitious long-term plan to protect and connect the largest of their region’s remaining forests. The Wildway will connect the vast forests of northern Pennsylvania to the Great lakes, through to the Finger Lakes, the Adirondacks, and beyond. It will form part of the Eastern Wildway which runs all the way from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Wildway will allow plants and animals to roam across the land as they once did, to move as climate changes, and to expand their ranges and ensure their survival. It will allow wildlife that have disappeared from their region to return home.

You can learn more, and perhaps draw inspiration for your own region, by viewing their “story map” which provides images as well as text to convey the challenges and solutions.

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Prairie
iStock

North American Grasslands Conservation Act brings restoration partnerships to the prairie

The passage of this act will improve not just habitat for wildlife but will slow, and ultimately help reverse, the decline of our nation’s grasslands. If you'd like to see this happen, you'll need to help out.

Last summer, Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Michael Bennet of Colorado introduced the North American Grasslands Conservation Act, which will provide resources to farmers, ranchers, and Tribes to voluntarily take steps to prevent the loss of grasslands and, when possible, restore them. Now, in the 118th Congress, lawmakers are considering additional updates to this bill and a bipartisan introduction in both the House and Senate is on the horizon.

This bill will create a voluntary, incentive-based grant program that focuses on partnering with private landowners — the stewards of their lands and waters — to conserve and restore grasslands across the country. The availability of grants is designed to be flexible, as the needs of one landowner to conserve grasslands will vary greatly across the nation: restoration of degraded grasslands, mitigating the threats of wildfire and drought, restoring watersheds, and improving the health of rangelands are among the many eligible activities for such grants…

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Leaves
Judy Anderson

Report: New England forests can do more to combat climate change

Sharing information related to changes in woodland management is going to be important. No longer do all of the past assumptions pencil out.

“What this report shows is how with even moderate changes in land-use practices we can increase the amount of carbon sequestered and stored in our landscape. To me, as I watch us fail to meet nearly every emissions reduction target, the case for including New England forests in our policy discussions just gets stronger and stronger. These are things we can do today and they come with a range of other benefits that are good for all of society”…

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