NC Land Conservancies Unify to Fight Climate Change
Thursday, October 25, 2018
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Climate change is top of mind after extreme weather events such as Hurricanes Florence and Michael, and North Carolina's land trusts have a significant role to play.
The latest climate science – from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – underscores the importance of natural areas such as forests and working farmlands in the fight against climate change, especially in protecting those places that have the ability to absorb carbon dioxide emissions.
Elsea Brown, is director of the Blue Ridge Forever Coalition, a collective campaign led by local land trusts and national conservation organizations. The group has worked to protect more than 40,000 acres of land.
"We're kind of in a unique position in that it's our responsibility to steward and protect the natural areas that are going to allow humans to be more prepared for the effects that we are going to see," she states.
Advocates hope climate solutions will include broad involvement across for-profit, nonprofit and civil sectors.
Without major changes, IPCC scientists warn that by the end of the century the average global temperature will be around 5.8 degrees warmer with the climbing carbon footprint.
For land trusts such as the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, climate change data has helped the organization plan with a long-term lens.
"Before we started using climate change data, we were looking at what land is most important to protect today," says Michelle Pugliese, the conservancy’s land protection director.
Now, with the new data, Pugliese says the conservancy is looking at what land is most important to protect long into the future.
Scientists and advocates alike say conservation goes beyond partisan politics. Brown calls it a unifying cause.
"Conservation is really something that can bring people together,” she states. “We all care about having a healthy environment and having clean air and clean water and healthy food for ourselves and for our families. It's really not something that belongs to one party or the other."
This month, an international panel of scientists released its sixth report on climate change with data affirming that natural areas reduce our carbon footprint.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
Most people probably never give a second thought to their visits to the dentist, but not everyone can navigate this process with ease. People with …
Christmas is a little more than two weeks away, and toy drives around the country are in full swing. A North Dakota organizer shares some things to …
A federal judge in Nevada has dealt three tribal nations a legal setback in their efforts to stop what could be the construction of the country's larg…
Reports from the Insurance Commissioner's office and the state Attorney General reveal an analysis of what they call "the true costs of health care" i…
Health and Wellness
The holiday season is filled with recipes passed down from years before, and feasting with family and friends. But think again before you have …
Connecticut lawmakers are reluctant to approve new emission standards that would require 90% cleaner emissions from internal-combustion engines and re…
Another controversial move in Florida's education system is a proposal to drop sociology, the study of social life and the causes and consequences of …
There are at least three victims after a shooting incident that happened at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus on Wednesday. By afternoon…