A regional land trust works to combat climate change with guidelines for building clean energy
Scenic Hudson has developed siting and design principles for renewable energy development to help stakeholders find common ground in a regional model for increased renewable energy development that also protects natural and economic resources:
- Prioritize development on previously disturbed areas
- Protect agricultural lands and promote co-location
- Protect natural beauty protect ecological resources
- Protect historic and cultural resources
- Maintain the purpose of conserved lands
- Avoid and minimize new transmission and distribution lines
- Use construction and operation best practices
- Promote sustainable renewable energy development through planning and zoning
Perhaps your land trust or community would find these guidelines helpful.
Michigan farmers, residents, praise wind power
Farmers are committing suicide in record numbers—in the US and around the world. Crop and water disasters are a major part of this, resulting in loss of income, massive debt, and unending despair. For some, “farming energy” with solar and wind, along with more traditional agricultural products, may avoid the unhappy reality of selling for development.
“For those committed to farmland conservation programs, Mills said, wind farms and wind turbines help keep farmers living on their farm lands, help attract and retain younger people, and help provide diversified funding streams…”
This farmer turns manure into clean water and it may be the future of farming
Austin Allred is so devoted to dairy farming that he switched over to it after growing up as a crop farmer. He now runs Royal Dairy, located in central Washington, where cows are a powerful tool in an astonishing process that creates bio-rich soil and clean irrigation water while cutting down greenhouse gases.
That’s because as much as Royal Dairy cares about what goes into the cows, visitors will quickly realize that their operation is equally concerned with what comes out of them…
Environmental impacts of wind power
Given the dire impacts on animals and plants, why is wind and solar still something that so many conservation groups fight, or down play their role in conservation?
Certainly, species extinction from climate change is picking up fast. The Union of Concerned Scientists is a nonpartisan, respected, research organization that outlines the impact of wind power and what to do about it…
This new solar farm combines clean energy and bee hives
For pollinators, sprawling solar plants can provide space for much-needed habitat. (By the spring of 2019, when the new native plants are more established, the Eagle Point solar farm will offer 41 acres of new habitat.)
For nearby farms growing crops that rely on pollinators–at a time when thousands of wild pollinators are at risk of extinction, and beekeepers are still struggling to maintain their populations of honeybees–this type of project can also play a role in supporting the food supply…
Leading by example: Tackling the climate challenge in the Granite State
Rather than talk about fighting solar and wind, consider linking them to the positive impact needed and how climate change, left unchecked, will destroy much of what we are working to conserve. Talk about balance and the need to think about conservation and renewables with new eyes. Here’s a good example…
Talking about solar as part of the solution
“As a conservation organization, Otsego Land Trust understands that climate change is an enormous conservation challenge. Our work protecting forest and farmlands, wetlands, open space, and wildlife habitat makes a positive contribution to mitigating the negative damage of climate change…”
Off-shore wind farms less harmful to seabirds than first thought
Researchers used radar and video to monitor seabirds flying near the Vattenfall’s Thanet offshore wind farm in the English Channel over a two-year period.
They found that birds were present near the turbines in just two per cent of the 600,000 videos shot during the period, and they recorded just six collisions—an average of one every four months…
Combining solar panels with agriculture makes land more productive
Climate change enhanced extreme weather, pests, and fungus is already causing additional stress on agriculture; solar and wind payments may play a critical role in keeping more farmers and ranchers on the land…
Land Trusts installing EV Charging Stations
Mendocino Land Trust has been partnering with California State Parks and the Mendocino Council of Governments to bring electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to the public at local trail and park destinations.
California State Parks is responding to the increasing challenges of climate change with the installation of EV charging stations as part of their “Cool Parks” initiative.
“Our donors and supporters are saying what a great opportunity this grant represents for the local community and visitors to the Mendocino Coast…”