Project seeks to support increased improved forest management practices on Minnesota public land
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Nature Conservancy’s Natural Climate Solutions Accelerator program is announcing the award of $860,000 to be split among five projects designed to help scale climate change mitigation by capturing and storing carbon on natural and working lands in the U.S. The five recipients are part of the third round of grantees for the Accelerator program, which has awarded more than $2.5 million dollars to fifteen climate projects around the country.
The 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 1.5 degrees Celsius Report provided additional urgent wake-up calls on the need for ambitious and innovative climate action to achieve a low carbon economy and accelerate removal of greenhouse gases already emitted into the atmosphere.
“We are pleased to be able to support these organizations,” said Catherine Macdonald, TNC’s North America Natural Climate Solutions Director, who serves on the Steering Committee for the Accelerator program. “By funding these innovative projects, we hope to expand the use of promising, cost-effective nature-based climate solutions.”
“In addition to their climate benefits, natural climate solutions can improve life and livelihood, by protecting water supplies, improving soil health and productivity, providing wildlife habitat, buffering flood zones, creating healthier communities, and increasing income for private landowners,” Macdonald explained.
Dovetail joins four other awardees this year – American Farmland Trust, The Arbor Day Foundation, Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition, and Soil Health Institute – who have all identified projects to move natural climate solution efforts in forests and farmland forward.
Dovetail was awarded $200,000 to quantify the storage potential and opportunity across 1.5 million acres of Minnesota’s school trust lands in partnership with the Office of School Trust Lands. Additional partners include the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Resource Assessment Program, University of Minnesota Duluth Natural Resource Research Institute, and The Nature Conservancy-Minnesota. This work will focus on quantifying the potential for improved forest management strategies and seek to identify policy avenues to improve forest management for carbon storage. Up to 60,000 acres will be identified for carbon project development over the course of the project. Dovetail Partners will take the work to a national scale by collaborating with the National Association of State Trust Lands to develop state-specific storage potential and policy guidance for up to 9 states for a total of 10 million acres.
"Even though forest carbon offset projects have been around a while, we're still seeing barriers to adoption for specific landowner groups," said Kathryn Fernholz, President/CEO of Dovetail Partners, the managing organization for the project. "This project will evaluate carbon project potentials for school trust lands, an important part of our rural land base that has not yet been engaged in these ecosystem market opportunities."
Aaron M. Vande Linde, Director, Minnesota Office of School Trust Lands added “I recognize the important role Minnesota’s school trust lands can, and will play, in providing ecosystem services benefits like carbon sequestration through improved sustainable forest management practices. These types of mitigation strategies are key aspects of our current work as we look for opportunities to demonstrate that school trust lands can produce both economic and environmental benefits.”