Land Trust Alliance Climate Rider Initiative

Author: Jennifer Axelrod Published: September 12, 2018

Extreme summer heat, mega forest fires, super storms and flooding—global climate change is already having a significant impact on communities and the environment across the United States, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. How quickly will the climate change, and what can we expect? That’s a big question that land trusts (nonprofit organizations that work to conserve and protect threatened landscapes such as wilderness and working lands such as rangeland, farmland and timberland) are asking themselves.

To help land trusts continue to effectively conserve land, FLO is working with the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) to provide technical assistance to selected Northwest land trusts as part of LTA’s Climate Rider Initiative. LTA is the national leader in policy, standards, education, and training for land trusts in the United States. Central to LTA’s mission is to “support land trusts so they can save and secure more lands now and for future generations,” which land trusts will be unable to do without considering the impacts of a warming climate. That is why the Climate Rider Initiative endeavors to increase the number of land trusts whose strategic conservation plans address climate impacts and promote climate resilience.

Over the next year, FLO will work with land trusts to:

  • Evaluate existing conservation plans to understand each land trust’s current conservation priorities and service territory.
  • Identify and acquire climate-related datasets that will add value to the land trusts’ existing conservation priorities.
  • Integrate climate data with conservation plans, providing a brief evaluation, via overlay analysis, comparing the climate-related datasets to the land trusts’ conservation priorities.
  • Organize training for staff to ensure that the land trusts understand how to use the information.
  • Work with LTA to plan regional training sessions, so that any land trust in the Northwest can get an overview on climate-related data sources, available tools, and appropriate techniques, as well as general recommendations for evaluating and incorporating climate-related data into land trusts’ conservation planning efforts.

Visit LTA’s Land and Climate Change Web page to learn more about how the organization is helping land trusts continue their important conservation work in the face of a changing climate.