Natural Areas

Climate Change & Conservation eNews

Natural Areas

Home > Climate News > Climate News: Natural Areas


Largest urban forest carbon credit purchase to support conserving land

As land trusts work to slow down climate change, carbon credits are now part of the strategy. Ensuring that they are well-designed and applied appropriately is more important than ever.

The largest urban forest carbon credit sale in the nation, as of 2021, will support land conservation in the southwestern Pennsylvania region by Allegheny Land Trust.

This significant purchase increases the capacity of the land trust to conserve and care for more crucial green space in southwestern Pennsylvania…

Read More »
Land Trust of Napa Valley

Land trust works with partners to complete forest-thinning project in Angwin

Land trusts are working in partnership with local, state, and regional organizations to participate in climate-related demonstration projects and research, as well as sharing results as to how land can be managed to slow down climate change, reduce fire risk, and enhance other important goals.

The Land Trust of Napa County, California State Coastal Conservancy, Napa County Resource Conservation District (Napa RCD), and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are pleased to announce completion of a large fuels reduction and forest health project on the Land Trust’s Linda Falls Preserve in Angwin, CA.

This preserve is open to the public and many visitors come to the property to hike and see Linda Falls, a waterfall along Conn Creek.

The project involved thinning the forest across 120 acres. The thinning is aimed at both reducing the risks of wildfire along the southeast flank of the community of Angwin and increasing the resilience of the forest to fires, drought and other effects of climate change.

Angwin is one of the few areas in the hills of Napa County that has not burned in the last five years so wildfire risk reduction there is a priority for CAL FIRE, Napa Communities Firewise, and Napa County Fire…

Read More »
Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

How satellite-guided cows might save the Kansas prairie and make ranchers more money

Cattle may not boost plant biodiversity on the prairie as much as bison do, but The Nature Conservancy thinks it’s possible to manage them in ways that support healthier grassland. They are working with a Flint Hills cattle rancher near Strong City in Kansas, along with Kansas State scientists, to see how fitting a herd with GPS collars might help.

STRONG CITY, Kansas — Third-generation rancher Daniel Mushrush has 30-plus miles of barbed wire fence to tend to.

Calves wriggle beneath it. The wires get loose. Wild animals take a toll. And when streams surge after storms, rushing water often snaps sections in two.

For Mushrush and his family, the fence-mending on their Flint Hills ranch never ends. It’s inescapable.

Read More »

Climate change threatens the Great Plains, but bison may hold a key to resilience

Partnerships between tribal nations, land trusts, and universities are on the rise related to prairie management, biodiversity, and slowing down (and/or adapting to) climate change. This article touches on many of those concepts, including bison and cattle management.

“The 8,600-acre Konza Prairie Biological Station where Kansas State conducts its bison research lies in the Flint Hills, North America’s biggest remaining stretch of tallgrass prairie.

Once one of North America’s major ecosystems — covering large swaths of the Great Plains from what is today central Texas to south-central Canada — settlers and their descendants destroyed more than 95% of the continent’s tallgrass prairie for cropland and other development. Tallgrass in the Flint Hills escaped the plow only because the region’s shallow soil and rocky layers made farming less practicable there…

Bison act and eat differently than cattle do, though biologists say not all the differences are clear yet. Few studies compare these two bovine herbivores side by side.

Still, a few differences jump out. The bigger species not only eats more grass, it also spends less time along streams than cattle do and more time on hilltops…”

Cattle may not boost plant biodiversity on the prairie as much as bison do, but The Nature Conservancy thinks it’s possible to manage them in ways that support healthier grassland.

They are working with a Flint Hills cattle rancher near Strong City in Kansas, along with Kansas State scientists, to see how fitting a herd with GPS collars might help….

Read More »
Judy Anderson

Nature-based solutions funding database

You may want to share this resource with others as nature-based climate solution funding expands.

National Wildlife Federation has created an interactive database for communities interested in pursuing federal funding and/or technical assistance for nature-based solutions. You can use their filters to search for nature-based solutions funding and technical assistance resources that fit your needs. For additional information on search filters, see their Glossary page.

Read More »
© Marjo Aho from TNC

How nature can get us 37 percent of the way to the Paris Climate Target

This study by The Nature Conservancy and others is often cited as evidence that nature-based climate solutions could slow down climate change by as much as 37% worldwide.

“The last two years have seen significant global advancement on climate action, with hundreds of global businesses and national and sub-national leaders building on the momentum of the Paris Agreement to initiate new climate pledges, initiatives and funding programs. But there remains a gap between promised action and realized climate progress, and many solutions available to us now remain underutilized—especially in the land sector, which currently accounts for nearly a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions…”

Read More »
Coastal Wetland
Toni Greaves for The Pew Charitable Trusts

How can states set ‘blue carbon’ baselines to help meet their climate goals?

Watch Pew’s webinar: Federal resources for states to develop coastal wetland greenhouse gas inventories.

As awareness grows of the important contributions of “blue carbon” habitats—such as salt marsh, tidal forested wetlands, and seagrass beds—in sequestering carbon and reducing climate change impacts, states are beginning to incorporate these coastal ecosystems into their strategies for reducing emissions and enhancing carbon storage through improved management of natural and working lands.

Read More »
Low Water
Laura Brophy

States can use federal data to assess ‘blue carbon’ and combat climate change

The Pew webinar explored resources available to help quantify greenhouse gases captured by coastal habitats.

During a recent webinar hosted by The Pew Charitable Trusts, experts from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Silvestrum Climate Associates highlighted how new and expanded federal data resources can help states catalog and conserve “blue carbon”— carbon captured and stored in coastal wetlands…

Read More »

Alley cropping case studies in Appalachia

Monoculture cropping is often hard on soils, requiring considerable input of fertilizers and weed killer. Integrated cropping is shown to have multiple benefits to farmers, as well as soil health and climate impacts.

The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) describes alley cropping as having several conservation purposes, including reducing surface water runoff and erosion, improving soil health, altering subsurface water quantity or water table depths, enhancing wildlife and beneficial insect habitat, increasing crop diversity, and increasing carbon storage.

Much like agrivoltaics with crops and/or cattle, the combined farming practice can increase overall yields and benefits. Plus, funding may be available. The case study focuses on Appalachia but could be emulated elsewhere.

Read More »
Trees From Below

New York City’s greenery absorbs a surprising amount of its carbon emissions

Urban green spaces face a lot of challenges, from extreme heat to lack of water or adequate care. That said, there is a growing body of research making it clear that urban greenery is important for human health, urban wildlife, and slowing down climate change. We need more people to advocate for investments in urban areas, including villages, hamlets, and small cities as well as larger ones.

A study of vegetation across New York City and some densely populated adjoining areas has found that on many summer days, photosynthesis by trees and grasses absorbs all the carbon emissions produced by cars, trucks and buses, and then some. The surprising result, based on new hyper-local vegetation maps, points to the underappreciated importance of urban greenery in the carbon cycle…

Read More »