“Land trusts have an important role in addressing climate change. Today, more than ever before, land protection is vital for ensuring that ecosystems and the species that depend on them will thrive tomorrow.” – Land Trust Alliance
The goal of NWALT’s Climate Change Initiative is to increase awareness and the resiliency of our local landscapes and communities to the negative impacts of climate change through strategic land conservation planning and outreach.
Landowners, biologists, foresters, and farmers are noticing the local impacts of climate change, and so are we. Through our work to conserve land in Northwest Arkansas, we are increasingly aware of the shifting seasons and changing weather patterns that threaten the rich biodiversity and healthy ecosystems of our region. Data indicates that our minimum winter temperatures in Northwest Arkansas have continued to increase, our local plant and animal populations are shifting, the seasonal timing of plant life cycles are occurring earlier, and the growing season has extended. What does that mean, why does it matter to our region, and what can we do?
The Northwest Arkansas Land Trust and our conservation partners are in a unique position address climate change at a local level by starting the conversation, sharing information and engaging the community in solutions. Strategic land conservation is a proven solution toward creating a more climate resilient region; a region that can better withstand and mitigate the current and future impacts of a changing climate.
As temperatures increase and habitats shift, plant and animal species must either adapt, or move to find suitable conditions in order to survive. A northward movement is already documented for many species around the globe. Conserving the unique natural habitats of our region, and maintaining connectivity of those natural landscapes and wildlife corridors, is essential if biodiversity is to persist in the face of a changing climate. And as weather patterns change and intensify, the impacts of drought, floods and storms increasingly threaten our communities. The stress of climate change is further exacerbated by urban land conversion.
By planning for and investing in permanent land conservation, we can preserve the healthy ecosystems that provide us with important eco-services including water and air filtration, plant pollination, and flood and erosion control. And we can protect the forests, grasslands, wetlands, and agricultural lands that naturally remove damaging carbon out of our atmosphere.
The time to act is now, to protect the health of our environment and of our community for future generations to come.
NWALT’s Climate Change Initiative is made possible through the generous support of the Land Trust Alliance. Please explore the resources below to learn more.
Achieving a stable climate for future generations requires action from all stakeholders, including businesses, scientists, elected officials and citizens. To learn more about steps you take to protect the climate and save money Click here.