News4Climate: May 2024 Edition

Read our May ’24 Newsletter, featuring Natural Climate Solutions Through the Farm Bill. Plus, read about giant strides in urban forestry and climate-resilient reforestation boosted by federal funding, and discover which state is advancing their climate goals with coastal wetland conservation.

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© Dan Videtich/Courtesy TNC

The Seed Collector: An interview with seed harvest and restoration technician Keith Bennett, who is helping restore Missouri's native tallgrass prairie.

Keith Bennett is a seed harvest and restoration technician for The Nature Conservancy’s Dunn Ranch Pawnee Prairie in Hatfield, Missouri. He is helping restore Missouri’s native tallgrass prairie by collecting as much as 800 pounds of native seeds by hand in a season. In this interview, read about the importance of protecting tall grass prairie, how cemeteries are great places for collecting the native plant seeds, and how prescribed fires can be beneficial for prairie plants.

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Updated Tool Can Help US Communities Include Forests and Trees in GHG Inventories

Many communities in the U.S. are developing Climate Action Plans (CAPs) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and achieve carbon neutrality. While many CAPs focus on the energy, transportation and waste sectors, most do not consider the role forests and trees play in the fight against climate change. This is because planners have lacked the data and clear guidance needed to include them in GHG inventories, which CAPs are based.

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Steve Crooks/Silvestrum Climate Associates

Wetlands Restoration Boosted Greenhouse Gas Captured by San Francisco Bay Estuary: Study supports states’ efforts to include ‘blue carbon’ in climate change response

The San Francisco Bay and its 59,000 acres of tidally influenced wetlands comprise the largest estuary on the U.S. West Coast and offer the region’s more than 7 million residents many benefits. These include providing habitat for thousands of birds and recreationally and commercially important fish, such as salmon and Pacific herring; protecting the coastline from floods; and helping to maintain a clean, plentiful water supply. And now, a study commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts and conducted by Silvestrum Climate Associates highlights another significant benefit of the San Francisco Bay: slowing climate change.

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Richard Hamilton Smith

New Guide Helps Decision-Makers Adopt Natural Climate Solutions

U.S. Nature4Climate (USN4C), a non-profit and non-partisan coalition of conservation, environmental, and sustainable business organizations, recently unveiled their “Decision-Makers Guide to Natural Climate Solutions” to address the disconnect between the limited funding going towards natural climate solutions and their vast potential impact. The Guide is designed to ensure a clear path forward for the effective planning and implementation of natural climate solutions nationwide.

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Kent Mason

Peatlands, Which Can Help Fight Against Climate Change, Face Many Threats: Improved science could spur conservation, with myriad benefits to nature and people

Known by many names—from fen, bog, and marsh to mire and swamp—peatlands are a type of wetland that plays important roles in the environment, including absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and supporting an abundant array of wildlife. They also provide numerous benefits to people, including drinking water and food as well as recreational and educational activities. But many of these benefits may not be around for long, because peatlands around the world face myriad threats to their existence.

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Byron Jorjorian

Let’s Also Not Pretend We Can Reach Our Climate Goals Without Trees

Rapid deployment of land-based measures for reducing emissions is ‘essential in all pathways’ for keeping global warming to 1.5°C. Put simply, we cannot get to 1.5 without nature – including both the protection of our remaining forests and restoring damaged ecosystems. Not only can we not reach our agreed global goal without nature, but we also need to mobilize fast, as nature’s efficacy and abilities to mitigate the most damage are most potent in the next eight years.

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Photo by Kevin Lee.

The State of the Puget Sound Tree Canopy

As Puget Sound cities and towns experience rapid growth, identifying opportunities to invest in high-impact tree planting and preservation projects is essential to ensuring people will continue to receive the multiple benefits of trees.

A coalition of local, regional and national partners has come together to address this goal and develop a model for the Central Puget Sound region to target projects that maximize the benefits of the urban tree canopy.

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What States Received the Most Pandemic Cover Crop Program Funding?

Cover crops are one of the most effective conservation practices that farmers can use to protect soil health. The Pandemic Cover Crop Program proves it’s possible to quickly implement an effective program to help farmers plant cover crops – an important agricultural Natural Climate Solution.

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Austin Rempel/American Forests

Four Steps to Reforest the West for Climate Resilience

Climate-adapted reforestation will do more than just save forests — it will also help save lives and property, too. That’s because planting climate-resilient forests is a crucial opportunity to get ahead of escalating wildfire threats in our western communities.

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