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Trees From Below
Judy Anderson

Corporate partnerships in the Family Forest carbon program

The Family Forest Carbon Program, a program created by the American Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, brings together rural family forest owners and companies to address climate change.

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Birds Eye View
© Ian Patterson

Family forests: An untapped powerhouse in climate change mitigation

Natural climate solutions can currently play an important role in slowing down climate change. Yet, too many landowners haven't been part of the financial benefits of participating in carbon forest management. TNC and others are working to change this.

[T]he American Forest Foundation and TNC have partnered to develop the Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP) to remove the barriers smaller landowners often face—carbon market access, lack of forest management expertise, and cost—to help them optimize the carbon storage potential of the 290 million acres of privately-owned U.S. forestland.

Meeting that potential requires helping those individuals and families adopt a science-based approach to take advantage of incentives for specific forest management practices that measurably enhance carbon sequestration. It requires engaging local foresters who have decades of experience working with private landowners.

Through sustainable management, landowners can reduce their expenses by as much as 75 percent…

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Exposed Roots

Natural debate: do forests grow better with our help or without?

We will need to keep reflecting on research and our previous assumptions; different regions will necessitate different approaches.

The study is the most detailed attempt yet to map where forests could grow back naturally, and to assess the potential of those forests to accumulate carbon. “We looked at almost 11,000 measurements of carbon uptake from regrowing forests, measured in around 250 studies around the world,” Cook-Patton told Yale Environment 360

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The Wall Street Journal

Preserving trees becomes big business, driven by emissions rules

Check out Finite Carbon in the Wall Street Journal.

Finite Carbon is North America’s leading developer and supplier of forest carbon offsets.

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American Prairie

Carbon markets program puts more nonprofits on path to increase land conservation

The carbon market is going to increasingly be part of the market-based solution. Is your local land trust keeping track of how this is unfolding?

The Land Trust Alliance is partnering with carbon offset project developers Finite Carbon and The Climate Trust. Finite Carbon is working with the Alliance to help land trusts that own forest lands participate in the voluntary carbon market. The Climate Trust will provide cash to help land trusts purchase no-till grassland conservation agreements from farmers and ranchers. This will make the lands eligible for the carbon market.

Not only does this mean additional land preservation, but it will help combat the effects of climate change…

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Camo Owl

Pyrodiversity promotes avian diversity over the decade following forest fire

In this 2016 paper, UCLA ornithologist Morgan Tingley concluded that “pyrodiversity increases biodiversity.” Between 2009 and 2014 he led bird surveys across 465,000 acres of burned conifer forest in California’s Sierra Nevada and Southern Cascade mountains. The data showed that in the decade following wildfire, areas that experienced different burn severities developed into unique habitats, each with its own bird community.

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Owl Friends
Danny Hofstadter

Recent ‘megafires’ imperil even fire-loving forest birds

It will be important for land trusts to help their communities understand that land management is part of the solution—but that climate change is completely changing the game. Previous scientific assumptions are now having to change.

Many birds, such as owls and woodpeckers, thrive in forest habitats created after fire. But the hotter, bigger, more destructive megafires out West might be too much even for them…

In a 2016 paper, UCLA ornithologist Morgan Tingley concluded that “pyrodiversity increases biodiversity.” Between 2009 and 2014 he led bird surveys across 465,000 acres of burned conifer forest in California’s Sierra Nevada and Southern Cascade mountains. The data showed that in the decade following wildfire, areas that experienced different burn severities developed into unique habitats, each with its own bird community.

But megafires like the King Fire have disrupted this historical cycle. Their relentless intensity often leaves less pyrodiversity. Instead they create larger areas of sheer destruction…

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Jet Over Glacier
Brooke Medley/NASA

Two major Antarctic glaciers are tearing loose from their restraints, scientists say

Certainly, our collective effort to slow down climate change has never been more important.

“Two Antarctic glaciers that have long kept scientists awake at night are breaking free from the restraints that have hemmed them in, increasing the threat of large-scale sea-level rise.

Located along the coast of the Amundsen Sea in West Antarctica, the enormous Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers already contribute around 5 percent of global sea-level rise. The survival of Thwaites has been deemed so critical that the United States and Britain have launched a targeted multimillion-dollar research mission to the glacier. The loss of the glacier could trigger the broader collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet, which contains enough ice to eventually raise seas by about 10 feet…”

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Bell Flowers
Land Trust of Napa County

Wildfire: The road to recovery

Conveying your humanity, and humble appreciation, is central to being trusted and seen as a community partner. So, too, is following the science of climate change and restoration—and helping your community understand how it is evolving.

Facing historic grief, loss, and destruction in most of the West, this land trust faces reality and is here to help:

“As we continue to move forward after the historic wildfires, we want to express our deepest sympathy to everyone impacted by the fires here and in Sonoma, Solano, and Mendocino Counties. We are endlessly grateful for the untiring efforts of the first responders, the over 11,000 firefighters [some brought in from all over the country, and as far away as Australia and Canada], the California Highway Patrol, local authorities, and the countless volunteers who worked tirelessly to protect us all. And the response of the Napa community has been truly inspiring.

Our staff continues the process of actively visiting properties to assess short and long term stewardship issues. We have been consulting with experts from a number of other agencies, such as Cal Fire, and have joined the Post Fire Recovery Working Group, which includes the Napa County Resource Conservation District, the Natural Resources Conservation Servicethe County, and others who are working to assess the condition of burned areas and determine any steps that could or should be taken.

Lastly, in a proactive effort to share useful information, we’ve collected resource links to webpages and pdfs that could be helpful in the recovery process and have posted them. Our goal of working together as a community remains and with it the hope that we can live up to Napa’s inspired resiliency…”

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Hazy Forest
Creative Commons

Evidence for declining forest resilience to wildfires under climate change

Kerry Kemp, a forest ecologist for the Oregon Nature Conservancy, studies forest resiliency, or the ability of forests to come back after wildfire or other major disturbances. For new trees to grow in the forest, living ones must be nearby to act as seed sources. And then once those seeds start growing, they’re more susceptible to drought than established trees. “The resilience of these forests is likely to be lower when there’s a mismatch between the current climate and the climate niche for tree regeneration,” Kemp said. “As the climate changes, a given location may no longer be capable of supporting tree regrowth the way it could when temperatures were lower and weather patterns were different. In some parts of the West, it’s already happening,” she said.

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