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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Climate change groups urge CA to prioritize nature-based solutions

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Wednesday, October 11, 2023   

Conservation advocates are pressing the state to set ambitious targets for nature-based climate solutions this week.

The California Natural Resources Agency's Expert Advisory Committee meets Thursday to unveil draft recommendations to capture and store climate-warming carbon through better management of farms, forests and wetlands.

Baani Behniwal, natural sequestration initiative manager at the Climate Center, said nature-based solutions draw carbon down while increasing water and food security.

"They reduce public health implications of much of the land practices today. They clean up our air," Behniwal outlined. "There are a million reasons why we should be doing more of them, and faster."

Plants naturally sequester carbon in their biomass and in the soil. Restoration of coastal wetlands and conservation of old-growth forests, for example, remove carbon from the air and make the state more resilient to the effects of climate change, such as drought, wildfire and flooding.

Conservation groups also want to expand incentive programs to help farmers plant cover crops, apply compost and reduce the amount of soil being disturbed. Behniwal noted a 2022 study from the Climate Center found such practices on agricultural and range lands could draw down 103 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.

"That would be the equivalent of 14 million cars off the road, or the energy for 8 million homes," Behniwal explained. "And that's just our working lands, that's not taking into consideration the potential of our forest, our wetlands, our deserts and other land types."

The commission has until the end of the year to finalize its recommendations.


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