Working landscapes are the key

  NewTowncarShare News has brought to the fore a critical environmental quandary: Should we protect species by any means necessary in the face of climate change or let nature take its course (HCN, 2/04/08)? There is another element of our response to climate change that deserves greater emphasis: management of working landscapes. A "let nature take its course" approach may be appropriate for parks and preserves, but most forests and rangelands are already driven by a management goal. Natural resource management goals can be adjusted to accommodate increased resistance and adaptation to climate change. Managed lands must be part of our response to climate change because they cover a much great area than parks or preserves ever will.

About 74 million acres of America's forest land is protected as a park or wilderness area, but there are about 512 million acres of working timberland. On these timberlands, changes in management choices can increase wildlife habitat or the health of native species, which in turn can add to the resilience and adaptation of our forests to an altered climate. Forest managers regularly plant trees after harvest, so planting species that may be better adapted to a new climate does not require a philosophical shift. Some working forests can even increase carbon sequestration by extending rotations, employing low impact logging practices, or other relatively small changes. In Western forests, burning logging residue and material removed in fuel reduction efforts to generate heat and/or electricity can help reduce fossil fuel consumption.

The preservation of unique ecosystems and charismatic species as climate changes is daunting. Management of working landscapes is a crucial tool to help us confront that challenge.

Alexander Evans
Forest Guild, Research Director
Santa Fe, New Mexico
NewTowncarShare News Classifieds
  • 5 acres, views, utilities to lot line includes paid water tap, great for passive solar design, covenants and NO HOA. Listed by Beckie at Keller...
  • The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society (NAFWS) is seeking qualified applicants to fill a vacant Executive Director position in Denver, CO. The position serves...
  • The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with a 25-year legacy of success using the power of the...
  • 383 Acres with trails, private road, trees, stream and fabulous views. Earth Sheltered, passive solar home provides 2785 sf of comfort and a "top of...
  • certified, 51 acres, small cottage, outbuildings, equipment and tools. Contact: [email protected]
  • 2bd/2bath green home on 2 acres on the Ojo Caliente River, NM. MLS #101605. Contact [email protected]
  • of mountains, 22+ acres. Close to Arroyo Seco and the Taos Ski Valley, NM. MLS #102585, [email protected]
  • 2br-2ba, acreage. Birders, writers. 1000.
  • 1400 sf of habitable space in a custom-designed eco-home created and completed by a published L.A. architect in 1997-99. Nestled within its own 80-acre mountain...
  • The Wilderness Society is currently recruiting for a Communications Manager for our Northwest Region. This position can be located in Seattle or Oakland. For more...
  • 1912 Orchard House completely rebuilt 2002. 4000 sq ft home and private guest cottage on .53 acres. Reclaimed maple and Doug Fir. Two garages. CathyMooney.com,...
  • with home on one acre in Pocatello, ID. For information and photos visit www.blackrockforgeproperty.com.
  • Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) seeks a new Executive Director to guide this dynamic national advocacy, watchdog, and service organization. The successful candidate requires...
  • The California Program Manager will work closely with California-based program staff and other NFF staff to provide project management and program development support. The incumbent...
  • Founded in 1989, Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is dedicated to protecting the Wests land, air, and water to ensure that vibrant communities exist in balance...
  • Founded in 1989, Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is dedicated to protecting the Wests land, air, and water to ensure that vibrant communities exist in balance...
  • Founded in 1989, Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is dedicated to protecting the Wests land, air, and water to ensure that vibrant communities exist in balance...
  • Founded in 1989, Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is dedicated to protecting the Wests land, air, and water to ensure that vibrant communities exist in balance...
  • Sierra Club is looking for a community organizer who can help us protect grizzly bears and other wildlife species in the Northern Rockies region. This...
  • Join HCN and Black Sheep Adventures on an expedition through the national parks and monuments of Utah and Southwest Colorado, September 7 - 15, 2019....