humming bird

Climate Change & Conservation eNews

Wildife

Dragonfly
Mousam Way Land Trust

Assisted migration project

Given the pace of climate change and extreme weather, many plants/trees will likely need assisted migration.

The following is an excerpt from their website:

“Continued climate warming will disrupt our forests and their ability to lessen the impact of high CO2 levels. We will lose our cool adapted evergreens and hardwoods which, in turn, will change the nature of the forest and everything in and around it. The Mousam Way Land Trust is initiating a project to plant warm-adapted southern tree species on our reserves in anticipation of this radical change.  In time these southern replacements will become part of the forest and restore some balance.

You are invited to help us go one step farther by planting these replacements in your own landscape from which they will eventually spread…”

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Misty Tree
iStock

Assisted migration

Given the pace of climate change and extreme weather, many plants/trees will likely need assisted migration. Check out this information on the U.S. Forest Service website. I'll be posting more research on this topic, too.

Trees are adapted to specific combinations of environmental and climatic conditions that allow them to grow, thrive, and reproduce. Climate change is already altering conditions across the planet, and changes are expected to continue in the decades to come. The rapid pace of climate change may exceed the ability of many species to adapt in place or migrate to suitable habitats, and this fundamental mismatch raises the possibility of extinction or local extirpation. Assisted migration, human-assisted movement of species in response to climate change, is one management option that is available to address this challenge. This topic page will examine some of the scientific background and management considerations related to assisted migration, focused primarily on tree species.

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Birds
iStock

470-acre Cayuga lakefront land bought by state to become wildlife area, solar energy plant

Land trusts have an opportunity to work with climate-related projects to ensure there are multiple benefits.

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced a land purchasing agreement has been reached between the Finger Lakes Land Trust and New York State Electric & Gas Corp. for the 470-acre Bell Station.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Finger Lakes Land Trust will create a public wildlife management area on the lakeshore portion of the newly acquired property…

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Screenshot

Eastern Wildway, an effort to create a wildlife corridor from the Gulf of Mexico to eastern Canada

Land trusts are working to help their communities understand how farming can be part of the climate solution.

The Allegany Wildlands is home to a spectacular diversity of plants and animals, including black bear, bobcat, rare orchids, and even some of the last surviving American Chestnut trees. As an ever-increasing number of species goes extinct in a changing climate, saving intact forests like the Allegany Wildlands becomes critical to sustaining life as we know it in Western New York.

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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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