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Climate Change & Conservation eNews

Wildife

Owls
Gorder Ellmers/Grassland Bird Trust

Argyle bird trust working with solar developer to conserve more land

With so many birds at risk due to climate change, finding ways for renewables to work with them is increasingly important.

“We’re excited about this collaboration and look forward to working with Eden on future mitigation projects,” said Grassland Bird Trust Executive Director Laurie LaFond. “We believe that renewable energy, when done right, can play an important role in restoring populations of grassland birds to sustainable levels.”

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Solar Panels
Unsplash

Utility-scale solar energy can be a tool for conservation, economic development

While many land trusts are concerned about climate change, few are messaging about solar in a manner that promotes larger-scale developments that work towards wildlife habitat, water absorption, and farm viability. Natural climate solutions will falter if we don't slow down the use of fossil fuels, quickly. Here's an example of an organization taking a proactive approach.

To put it plainly, these proposed projects will not destroy the natural environment nor negatively impact the watershed if they are approved and built in line with Linn County’s existing ordinance for solar energy projects. In fact, with a diverse mix of native grasses and wildflowers cultivated on-site, these proposed projects can significantly improve water quality, reduce soil erosion, and provide habitat for wildlife and pollinators, going a long way to restore Iowa’s landscape.

Furthermore, by using wildlife-style fencing instead of traditional chain link fencing, these sites can be a home for upland nesting birds such as ring-necked pheasants, quail, and other grassland birds like the dickcissel…

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Forest Path
Creative Commons

Cold Hollow to Canada

Cold Hollow to Canada's mission is to maintain ecosystem integrity, biological diversity, and forest resiliency throughout the Cold Hollow to Canada region, with a focus on community-led stewardship and the conservation of our working landscape in the face of a changing climate.

When a hundred community members came together in late 2008 to discuss the future of their shared landscape, no one in the room had an inkling of what might come of it…

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Songbird
Unsplash

Climate change strategies

Land trusts all over the country are focusing on landscape-scale, climate-resilient lands for protection. It will also be important to prioritize community lands, as well as lands for human refuge and resilience.

The Land Trust of Napa County (LTNC) is actively working to incorporate the challenges and threats posed by climate change into both its land conservation and natural resource management strategies, with a focus on protecting and restoring the ability of our local ecosystems to respond and adapt to warming temperatures. LTNC has dramatically increased its pace of land protection and stewardship throughout Napa County over the last five years to more effectively address these pressing issues…

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Happy Farmers
Rachel Leathe/Bozeman Chronicle

American Farmland Trust calls on the Biden administration to protect and conserve 30% of working farmland and ranchland to achieve 30×30

It would be helpful if you shared on social media and reached out to your representatives to say how much you support the 30 x 30 effort — and to let them know it's important that they help counter misinformation. American Farmland Trust has a good post you can read here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, American Farmland Trust released “Agriculture’s Role in 30×30: Partnering with Farmers and Ranchers to Protect Land, Biodiversity, and the Climate” outlining agriculture’s critical role in the effort to “conserve at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030” as put forth in the Biden administration’s January 27, 2021, Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. AFT’s recommendations make it clear that we urgently need to both permanently protect five percent of vulnerable working lands from being converted to development and support landowners’ voluntary efforts to implement conservation practices on an additional twenty-five percent of working lands, particularly in biodiversity hotspots, key connectivity corridors and areas with high carbon sequestration potential.

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Dolphins
NRDC website

30 x 30: NRDC’S commitment to protect nature and life on earth

This initiative provides a ray of hope into our collective efforts to conserve what has become even more important to our communities during the pandemic.

“To prevent mass extinctions and bolster resilience to climate change, scientists warn that we must protect at least 30 percent of our lands, rivers, lakes, and wetlands by 2030. At the same time, we must also fully and highly protect at least 30 percent of our oceans by 2030 to help safeguard marine ecosystems and fisheries that provide food, jobs, and cultural sustenance to billions around the world.

We have the tools to create a better, healthier future for our planet—and ourselves—but we must act now…”

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Western Meadowlark
Evan Barrientos/Audubon

Conservation Ranching: Empowering consumers to make a difference in grassland conservation

“Grassland birds have suffered an unparalleled decline over the past half century, stemming from widespread development of North America’s grasslands. This calls for Audubon’s action. To combat the negative effects of grassland degradations—and to keep grass on the landscape—Audubon has developed the Conservation Ranching Initiative. This market-based conservation approach offers incentives for good grassland stewardship through a certification label on beef products. For the first time, consumers can contribute to grassland conservation efforts by selectively purchasing beef from Audubon-certified farms and ranches…”

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Announcing Screenshot

Largest market-based regenerative grasslands partnership in the U.S.

This partnership will restore habitat and combat climate change on one million acres of working ranchland. Other groups are working to help farmers and ranchers connect farm viability, economic support, and climate-smart actions.

Panorama Organic Grass-Fed Meats to certify one million acres of wildlife habitat with the National Audubon’s Conservation Ranching Initiative.

The Audubon Conservation Ranching Initiative seeks to enhance the stewardship of grasslands for the benefit of birds. Birds have suffered significant decline over the past 50 years due to loss of U.S. grasslands to widespread development.

This initiative empowers consumers to support programs that restore bird populations via conservation practices by selectively purchasing beef nationwide from Audubon-certified farms and ranches, including Panorama Organic and other participating brands. The Audubon certification seal carries broad market appeal among consumers who care about the environment.

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Beaver
William C. Gladish

Eastern Wildway

“…Today, we continue making significant progress toward creating a continental-scale Eastern Wildway—an extensive wildlife corridor linking eastern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. In October 2019, Wildlands Network released a Eastern Wildway map, representing a major step forward in realizing a vision of connectivity for this region. The map comprises a network of habitat cores—large natural areas, in dark green—and corridors—linkages between the cores, in light green, and integrates a wide range of existing data sets and input from state and federal agencies, other NGOs, and academic researchers and expert conservationists…”

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Fox
Unsplash

A bold initiative

While focused on adaptation, managing land can also be a central strategy in our efforts to slow down climate change.

The Land Conservancy is beginning an ambitious new initiative — to create the Western New York Wildway. The Wildway will be an extensive series of protected lands that connect the vast forests of northern Pennsylvania to the Great lakes, through to the Finger Lakes, the Adirondacks, and beyond. It will form part of the Eastern Wildway which runs all the way from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Wildway will allow plants and animals to migrate across the land as they once did, to move as climate changes, and to expand their ranges and ensure their survival…

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