Forests, Meals and Extra: 2021 Conservation Triumphs

Defending Essential Forests

12 27 21 Resized Pelican River ForestPelican River Forest. Photograph by Jay Brittain.

Defending mature, intact forests within the U.S. is likely one of the only methods we are able to fight local weather change proper now. This yr, we acquired over 127,000 acres of delicate working forestland throughout the nation by way of our Working Forest Fund® program. They’re now on a path in direction of everlasting conservation for leisure, wildlife and water high quality advantages, whereas supporting native jobs and economies.

Our buy of the 70,000-acre Pelican River Forest in northern Wisconsin this October secured the biggest privately-owned, unprotected block of forest remaining within the state. Beneath our momentary possession, we are going to work to safe this forestland in a means that continues to assist the native timber economic system, safeguard wildlife habitat and supply public leisure entry. Situated alongside the Continental Divide, this panorama performs an necessary local weather position, storing roughly 19 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e)—similar to the emissions from 4.1 million passenger autos over the course of a yr.

12 27 21 Combined Lupine ForestColumbia Gorge Forest. Photographs courtesy of @ianshivephoto / @tandemstock.

However giant forest conservation offers like this may be difficult. Fortunately these intricate efforts are the place we shine. In truth, The Conservation Fund, by way of an affiliate, accomplished considered one of our most complicated offers to this point this November with the acquisition of 35,000 acres of working forestlands spanning throughout the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon and Washington (two states and 4 counties). Not solely is the Columbia Gorge Forest ecosystem of oak, pine, and different coniferous bushes and wildlife habitat crucial to our struggle in opposition to local weather change, it is usually one of many nation’s most pristine locations for kayaking and has necessary cultural significance to the Yakama Nation.  


Bettering Our Meals System

12 27 21 Resized RCPPhotograph by Steve Orr. 

We acknowledge that the land and those that nurture it are the spine of many programs—together with our meals system, which has seen unparalleled interruption in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporting our nation’s farmers and those that assist get meals to our native shops, eating places and tables is a crucial a part of our twin constitution mission of environmental conservation and financial development.

Our Working Farms Fund program has seen great success in 2021. In Atlanta, the place this system first launched, we now have 4 farm groups increasing their operations and dealing bigger farm websites throughout the metro area. Love is Love Cooperative Farm (our program’s first farm) not too long ago accomplished their first supply of produce to Emory College as a part of a company partnership. Moreover, we’re working to construct this system’s success and develop into Chicago! Learn the Working Farms Fund’s newest function within the New York Instances.

12 27 21 Combined Working Farms FundLove is Love Farm harvested their first candy potatoes at their new, expanded farm web site this fall (left: picture courtesy of Love is Love Farm). These candy potatoes have been then delivered to our associate cooks at Emory College (proper: picture courtesy of Stacy Funderburke).

In North Carolina, our Resourceful Communities crew has been on the entrance traces of COVID-19 meals reduction efforts, issuing grants to rural organizations that deal with meals insecurity and strengthen native meals economies—each crucial targets, particularly in the course of the pandemic. We’ve discovered that supporting native and infrequently BIPOC-led teams is likely one of the only methods to serve communities. Be taught extra about this yr’s grants and the way we are able to proceed to enhance meals safety efforts nationwide.

Wildlife & Recreation

12 27 21 Resized Pedro BayKnutson Bay, AK. Photograph by Jason Ching.

2021 was additionally an distinctive yr for conservation options that profit each individuals and wildlife. We all know {that a} wholesome setting and wholesome economic system go hand in hand. When nature and wildlife are thriving, so are leisure and financial alternatives in close by communities.

For instance, the Bristol Bay area of Alaska is a pristine and necessary place. It’s residence to the biggest wild salmon fishery on the planet and helps over 15,000 jobs. Among the most important watersheds for salmon are situated within the coronary heart of Bristol Bay, within the northeastern finish of Iliamna Lake. It’s right here that the Pedro Bay Company, an Alaska Native village company, has remained a longstanding steward of the crucial fish and wildlife habitat and conventional cultural sources at the moment threatened by the proposed Pebble Mine undertaking. Earlier this yr we introduced our intent, in tandem with the company and different companions, to preserve 44,000 acres of this important place. Be taught extra concerning the Pedro Bay Rivers effort and how one can assist.

12 27 21 Resized Mispillion HarborPhotograph courtesy of EOL Studying + Training. 

Equally, Mispillion Harbor on the Delaware Bay is likely one of the most crucial stopover factors for the imperiled Crimson Knot shorebird throughout their annual marathon migration every spring. This spectacle is a famend occasion for hen watchers and attracts vacationers from everywhere in the world to the Delaware Bay area. This yr, after a 15-year conservation effort, we have been in a position to safe Mispillion Harbor’s last piece of shorefront so this necessary place may very well be protected ceaselessly. Be taught extra.

And within the southern tip of Texas, one other endangered species noticed enhanced protections this yr. Laguna Atascosa Nationwide Wildlife Refuge helps one of many final two remaining populations of ocelots in Texas. In 2021, we helped develop the Refuge not only for ocelot habitat safety, but in addition to reinforce leisure entry and tourism for the Rio Grande Valley area. Be taught extra.

12 27 21 Resized OcelotOcelot at Laguna Atascosa Nationwide Wildlife Refuge. Photograph courtesy of USFWS.

We are able to’t wait to see what 2022 has in retailer. To assist our future work, please contemplate a present to The Conservation Fund this vacation season. Your assistance will permit us to proceed making tangible impacts like these for nature and folks for years to come back.

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