Photo: Tyler Roemer.

Climate Change: Mitigation strategy

Mitigation means reducing our human contributions to greenhouse gases. Here are the main ways the Land Trust can mitigate the effects of climate change on our communities.

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The Land Trust's climate change strategy identifies two main ways the Land Trust can address climate change: 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.
  • We can remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

How do we do it?

  • We help keep land in its natural state: Yep our core work is helping combat climate change! Land conservation helps keep our forests, rivers and streams, wetlands, and sagebrush deserts from being converted to other uses. Any time land is converted from its natural state to another use, CO2 is released into the atmosphere. Conversion also removes native vegetation which prevents further emissions storage, increases soil erosion, and compounds the effects of increased land aridity caused by climate change. So, keeping land in its natural state reduces future contributions of greenhouse gases and can even help remove CO2 from the atmosphere (see forests section below for more!)

    But the Land Trust can’t stop there, we can do more than just conserve and protect the land in its natural state. We can actively seek out more land to conserve, so our collective efforts make a larger mass of land to help combat climate change. We can also conserve lands that have already been converted to farms or ranches or and help encourage climate responsive agriculture and forestry. Finally, as we work to care for these lands forever, we can work to restore the native plant communities that would have historically been there so they can keep combating the effects of climate damage.

  • We help keep forests forested: Forests play a major role in mitigating climate damage because they are excellent at storing carbon dioxide. In fact, forests are the world’s largest land-based carbon sponge! How? Trees, and all plants actually, are magical! They make their own food through a process called photosynthesis that involves taking CO2 out of air to make the energy they need to survive. So trees and forests help mitigate climate change by actively removing CO2 from the atmosphere! Even when plants die and decompose, they continue to store a massive amount of CO2 as soil. Places like the Land Trust’s Metolius Preserve, Metolius River Preserve, and Whychus Canyon Preserve are the sponges we need and will continue to need to absorb CO2 and help combat climate damage.

    Trees are the answer! Plant one! Photo: Land Trust.
    Trees are the answer! Plant one! Photo: Land Trust.
    But that’s not all the Land Trust can do. We can actively seek out more forested land to conserve so those places can continue to remove and store CO2 into the future. Conserving lands with older trees—which store more carbon overall and at a faster rate than younger trees—is one especially effective way for the Land Trust to maximize carbon capture. Finally, we can also manage our protected lands so they grow into healthy, diverse mature forests and planting trees in areas where needed.

  • We can help offset carbon: Carbon offsets are a mitigation strategy that provides economic incentives to people or businesses to not emit greenhouse gases. By conserving land, including forests, the Land Trust has a natural opportunity to fund its projects through carbon credits. We are currently exploring how to effectively enter and participate in carbon credit trading.

  • We can engage the community in climate change: Whether we like it or not, climate change will impact all of our lives—human and wild. The Land Trust is working to be an accurate source of relevant information on how climate change is affecting us and what we can all do to lessen its impacts. Learn more about it below.

Learn more: