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Land Trust Community Conversations

$500 grant: From classrooms to communities

The Climate Initiative is offering $500 to the first 10 land trusts interested in holding community climate change conversations. 

They believe youth can — and do — lead, and have developed and tested the curriculum. Check out the videos, articles, and resources — and email Leia if you’d like to learn more or host a program. This could be a great way to partner with area schools, teachers, and your community.

You can find out the details on the website and email Leia Lowery.

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California conservation to address climate change

[In 2021] the Trust for Public Land and JPMorgan Chase announced a $500,000 collaboration to launch The Trust for Public Land’s new California Climate Conservation program, and protect natural and working lands, mitigating climate impacts for people in the Central Coast and Los Angeles County. The program will incorporate California’s climate action strategy and help achieve greater community resilience through nature-based solutions and by engaging with local communities…

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Judy Anderson

Sequestering carbon while making breakfast sweeter

Vermont’s private forests play a key role in mitigating climate change — they store four times as much carbon as the state’s vehicles release each year. Selling forest carbon credits to companies and individuals working to reduce their carbon footprints provides a new source of income for individual landowners like Jessica Boone and Everett McGinley in Vermont’s Cold Hollows region, which helps them protect their forests. Unfortunately, carbon markets can be too costly for most owners of small forest parcels to join.

That’s why the Vermont Land Trust formed Vermont Forest Carbon LLC and teamed up with The Nature Conservancy, the Caron Dynamics Lab at the University of Vermont, and Cold Hollow to Canada, a local land stewardship and conservation organization, helping landowners overcome the cost barrier by working together as a single carbon project.

This is the first large-scale aggregated forest carbon project in the country, with fifteen neighbors teaming up to sell carbon credits from their land…

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Screen Shot Webinar

Solar that supports farmers, soils, water

While states and communities around the U.S. are ramping up renewable energy commitments and incentivizing solar development, many farms are struggling. There is also growing concern that solar development could displace active agricultural use on productive farmland, with impacts to farm renters, local economies, and regional food systems. Without an integrated approach, achieving clean energy goals may come at the loss of some of our most fertile and economically viable farmland to solar development.

American Farmland Trust seeks a more collaborative and sustainable path forward towards a clean energy transition that supports healthy soils, wholesome food, and vibrant farms…

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Political Parties

How to talk about climate change across the political divide

At its root, she notes, the climate-change divide isn’t a disagreement about facts. “In a study of fifty-six countries, researchers found people’s opinions on climate change to be most strongly correlated not with education and knowledge, but rather with ‘values, ideologies, worldviews, and political orientation,’” she writes.

Solving the climate crisis will require ending our reliance on fossil fuels, which people believe would involve major sacrifice. “If there’s a problem and we’re not going to fix it, then that makes us bad people,” Hayhoe said. “No one wants to be a bad person.” So instead, people are happy to seize on excuses not to take action. Most are what she calls “science-y sounding objections, and, in the U.S., religious-y sounding objections.” Hayhoe often hears that the Earth has always heated and cooled according to its own intrinsic cycle, or that God, not humanity, controls the fate of the planet. These objections can then harden into aspects of our political identity…

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Elephant Head

Community-level assisted migration for climate-appropriate prairie restoration

Given the rate of movements of “climate envelopes,” the principle of use of only locally occurring species and genotypes in habitat restoration is questionable at best. Some local species may be lost entirely if their “climate envelopes” move outside the local area.

Multiple species that grow elsewhere would thrive in restorations if they were able to migrate to new locations, but this is prevented by the speed of climate change and the difficulty of dispersal across fragmented landscapes. To restore the natural process of migration, restorations should include…

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Andy Reago and Chrissy McClarren / Flickr

Smaller-brained birds shrink in response to climate change, WashU study finds

“We were really struck by how some species seem to be decreasing a lot more than others,” said study co-author, Justin Baldwin, a Ph.D. candidate with the Botero Lab at Washington University.

And the reason, researchers believe, is rising temperatures. Baldwin said further research could shed light on how exactly climate change has catalyzed the differences in size. Right now, he sees two possible explanations…

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Light Through Trees
Judy Anderson

Earth’s coldest forests are shifting northward with climate change

New research from Northern Arizona University shows rising temperatures are causing Earth’s coldest forests to shift northward, raising concerns about biodiversity, an increased risk of wildfires, and mounting impacts of climate change on northern communities…

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Regenerative ranching is better for the environment, but can it be profitable?

Ellis tells me that she did the math, and the amount of beef she produces on her ranch in a year is about the same quantity that McDonald’s uses globally in 45 minutes. “I’m this tiny blip on the radar,” she says. “But if I could get all ranchers across the nation doing the job sustainably, then we’d have a lot of clout.”

She says most consumers have no idea if their beef comes from a ranch with environmental goals. “I want to give them that choice”…

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Bee On Yellow Flowers
Judy Anderson

Trait-based filtering mediates the effects of realistic biodiversity losses on ecosystem functioning

We present multiyear results from a realistic biodiversity loss experiment, examining how two key ecosystem functions (productivity and invasion resistance) responded to randomized and realistic (drought-driven) species losses across years with high yearly climatic variation. We show that realistic low-diversity communities do not always have high functioning under the conditions that drove species loss, indicating a disconnect between functional response and effect traits.

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