Climate Change Strategy

Climate change is the conservation challenge of our era. It threatens the Land Trust’s core mission of protecting land for wildlife, scenic views, and local communities for future generations. In that regard, responding to climate change is like an insurance policy for land trusts.


In 2017, the Deschutes Land Trust created a climate change strategy to help guide the Land Trust's work in ways that account for and respond to the impacts of climate change on Central Oregon. Our goal is to implement this strategy as we acquire new land, manage the land we already protect, and engage the community in our work. We also created this page so you can learn about our approach and the effects of climate change in our region.

What does climate change have to do with the Land Trust?
It's pretty simple: climate change threatens the Land Trust’s core mission of protecting land for wildlife, scenic views, and local communities in perpetuity. In that regard, responding to climate change is like an insurance policy for land trusts.

As a conservation organization, the Land Trust can substantially contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change on local natural areas, and can help facilitate the ability of fish and wildlife to adapt to altered landscapes. Learn more about how climate change impacts the places we love and the communities we love.


So, how is the Land Trust going to help? What will guide our work so we can be responsive to climate change? 
Here are our guiding principles for climate-responsive Land Trust actions:

  • We recognize the interconnectedness of all actions. Climate-responsive conservation cannot happen in isolation, and all decisions will have implications for other social, ecological, and/or economic outcomes.
  • We prioritize the functionality of ecological processes and systems rather than specific habitats or species.
  • We will strive to engage a variety of relevant stakeholders to iteratively and regularly revisit strategies and approaches. Climate change action is necessarily experimental, dynamic, and imperfect.
  • We will strive to understand and respond to local concerns and communities while keeping national and global contexts in mind.
  • We know that, just as the impacts of climate change are not immediately discernible, climate-responsive conservation will not yield immediate results or solutions. However, this by no means diminishes the importance of acting now.
  • We will use the best available science to guide all conservation and stewardship approaches to adaptation and mitigation.


What is the Deschutes Land Trust doing about climate change?
The two main ways the Land Trust can address climate change are mitigation and adaptation.

  • Mitigation means reducing our human contributions to greenhouse gases. There are two main ways the Land Trust can mitigate the effects of climate change on our communities. We can reduce our contributions of greenhouse gases, and we can remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Learn more about our mitigation strategy.

  • Adaptation means making adjustments in our systems—human and natural—in response to current and future climate impacts. There are two main ways the Land Trust can help adapt to climate impacts: we can help conserve nature’s stage, and we can help make our natural systems strong. Learn more about our adaptation strategy.

Or, you can go big and jump right in and download and read our climate change strategy here. Huge thanks to Fiona Noonan, who researched and created this strategy!



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