Press Release: July 7, 2015
Forests, farms, wetlands, and urban greening have been tapped by The State of California to help fight climate change. The State recently awarded grants totaling over $45 million to projects that use natural resource solutions to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
“Green space plays a vital role in climate change reduction by storing emissions in trees, plants and soils,” said Assemblyman Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood). “These investments move California toward our climate change goals while preserving the natural and working landscapes that define our state.”
Governor Brown has identified projects that store carbon in our natural and working lands as an integral ‘pillar’ in his climate change strategy announced earlier this year, alongside goals to increase renewable energy production and cut petroleum use by 2030.
The Natural and Working Lands Coalition, made up of environmental, conservation, and sustainable agriculture groups, praised these breakthrough investments.
“Investments in California’s natural and working lands help reduce GHG emissions while contributing to cleaner water and healthier air for all our communities,” said Adam Kotin of the California Climate & Agriculture Network, “Like a retirement account, the sooner we act to enhance and protect these landscapes, the greater the benefits over time.”
Recently announced climate change investments include a total of $45 million for natural and working lands projects, including:
- $4.6 million for agricultural lands conservation, which will reduce urban sprawl and prevent threatened farmland from being paved over. This includes grants to permanently protect over 14,000 acres across eight counties.
- $15.6 million for urban forestry, which will sequester carbon and help green California’s disadvantaged communities. This includes $750,000 for establishing the Jeff Seymour Family Center in El Monte which will empower this LA-based community to enhance the urban forest and create demonstration sites for multi-benefit GHG-reduction projects .
- $4 million for forest conservation, which will ensure that over 2,400 acres of forest are protected from development and managed to high forestry standards under conservation easements. Forest conservation and improved management are amongst the cheapest and most expandable ways to capture and store carbon.
- $21 million for wetlands, which will restore or enhance 2,500 acres of wetlands and mountain meadows. In addition to significant carbon sequestration, wetland projects will enhance fish and wildlife habitat, protect and improve water quality and storage, and help California adapt to climate change. This includes $540,000 for mountain meadow restoration in the Lassen Foothills that will also reduce flood peaks and increase streamflow at the end of the summer.
The Natural and Working Lands Coalition seeks to ensure that natural and working landscapes are part of California’s climate solution. We are: CalCAN, Audubon California, The Nature Conservancy, Pacific Forest Trust, Defenders of Wildlife, California ReLeaf, and the Trust for Public Land.