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Agrisolar Clearinghouse

Farmer first solar: Agrivoltaics webinar series

The AgriSolar Clearinghouse is hosting a series of webinars around the ins and outs of agrivoltaics. This might be a good thing to share with community members, your friends and neighbors, and other conservation folks.

The AgriSolar Clearinghouse is an information-sharing, relationship-building public communications hub for all things agrisolar. The AgriSolar Clearinghouse is offering a free series of webinars regarding research on how solar and agriculture can work (and are working) together to enhance farm/ranch viability, soil health, and water management.

Webinar topics include: the cost of agrivoltaics, growing crops under solar panels, taste differences among crops grown under panels, solar and pollinator habitats, and more. You can sign up here, or watch recordings of past webinars.

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Farm And Clouds
Mississippi Valley Conservancy

Mississippi Valley Conservancy: Climate change

There are land trusts like the Mississippi Valley Conservancy that are working to share stories of how solar can become farmer-first, rather than a detriment to farming.

Together, we can make a difference

What is it about the Driftless area you love? Is it the foggy mornings overlooking the valley? Or going fishing with your family in the spring? Perhaps it’s the sounds of migrating sandhill cranes and the call of the spring peepers.

Too often we think of climate change as occurring on a global scale or something that will happen in the future. Yet climate change already is causing profound changes with damaging effects to the land and water you love. Wildlife habitat, lakes and streams, and farmland, right here in the Driftless Area, are at risk as never before.

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Corn Field
USDA

Learn more about Conservation Innovation Grants

Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) is a competitive program that supports the development of new tools, approaches, practices, and technologies to further natural resource conservation on private lands.

Through creative problem solving and innovation, CIG partners work to address our nation’s water quality, air quality, soil health and wildlife habitat challenges, all while improving agricultural operations.

There are three annual Conservation Innovation Grants funding opportunities…

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Cows
Judy Anderson

Healthy soil grants

Funding is increasingly available to improve farming practices, sometimes called regenerative agriculture, to help slow down climate change and improve water quality, soil health, and clean air.

Vermont farmers have an essential role to play in combating climate change. Some farming practices can trap carbon and keep it out of the atmosphere, while supporting wildlife habitat, healthier soils, and cleaner water. The challenge can be sustaining profitability while making significant changes.

Which practices are worth the investment? And how long will they take to pay off?

To answer these questions and more, we are partnering with Bio-Logical Capital and the University of Vermont on a Conservation Innovation Grant funded by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. This five-year research project will provide direct payments to Vermont farmers who agree to implement farming practices that improve soil health

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Peat Bog
GRLT

Rockland’s biggest, oldest ecological secret

Check out this slide show Georges River Land Trust used to communicate about the importance of peat bogs. It's very effective as a communication tool; you learn a lot even just by skimming. Perhaps you can use something like this to communicate about an important natural resource in your area...

What’s a peat bog? Where’s the Rockland Bog? What’s special about it? Why conserve it? How can you make a difference?

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Climate Action Plan

Mississippi Valley Conservancy: Climate Action Plan

"Together, we can address one of the greatest challenges our region has ever faced..."

What is it about the Driftless area you love? Is it the foggy mornings overlooking the valley? Or going fishing with your family in the spring? Perhaps it’s the sounds of migrating sandhill cranes and the call of the spring peepers.

Too often we think of climate change as occurring on a global scale or something that will happen in the future. Yet climate change already is causing profound changes with damaging effects to the land and water you love: wildlife habitat, lakes and streams, and farmland, right here in the Driftless Area, are at risk as never before.

Read More »
Solar Sunflower
AgriSolar Clearinghouse

Solar energy and its place on the land

The Mississippi Valley Conservancy works in Wisconsin where they conserve a wide range of landscapes. The organization developed a Climate Action Plan and is working to help the community understand how local action can inspire big impacts.

In a world beset with climate change and its attendant fires and floods, the need for solar energy is immense — vital if the world is to quit burning fossil fuels, the primary cause of the climate crisis…

The trick, for those of us in the business of land conservation, is to make a contribution to that effort without compromising our missions of protecting biodiversity and working lands that produce the food we need. There’s a growing body of research and practical application that offers hope that this can happen using agrivoltaics, the practice of combining agriculture and solar energy collection — a dual use of the land…

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Canopy Fire
Federico Rios for The New York Times

Stopping climate change is doable, but time is short, U.N. panel warns

Sometimes land conservationists ask me why they should advocate for energy conservation efforts or find ways to link compatible renewables to their conservation work when they are so busy working to conserve the lands we all cherish. It's a valid question that rests on a dwindling window of time to stop the climate pollution that is driving the extreme weather, and the related impacts that go along with it.

Nations need to move away much faster from fossil fuels to retain any hope of preventing a perilous future on an overheated planet, according to a major new report on climate change released on Monday, although they have made some progress because of the falling costs of clean energy.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body of experts convened by the United Nations, warns that unless countries drastically accelerate efforts over the next few years to slash their emissions from coal, oil and natural gas, the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, will likely be out of reach by the end of this decade.

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By Degrees

By Degrees: Covering climate change

New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) is leading the charge — making climate change front and center in their communications.

Human activity is warming the planet. This change is already reshaping how we live and interact with our environment in New Hampshire, across New England and beyond. And just as more people than ever were beginning to wake up to the climate emergency, our lives collided with the coronavirus pandemic and a generational reckoning on racial justice.

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Canopy
Judy Anderson

Protect your woodlands

Woodland conservation can be part of the climate solution. Yet how do you talk to landowners about it? Vermont Land Trust does a nice job.

“Over 75% of Vermont’s land is forested, and much of that land is privately owned, often by families and individuals. Conserving these forests matters a great deal for our climate, our economy, and our communities. If you own woodland and want it to remain forested, conservation is one option you could consider. We can help you explore your options and guide you through the process…”

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