Land Trust Alliance Launches Climate Change Initiative with $1 Million Grant from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

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Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Provides Catalyst Funding

Land Trust Alliance logo

Land Trust Alliance logo

Land trusts want to be smart about climate change as they continue to save land.

The Land Trust Alliance, a national land conservation organization working to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America, today announced the launch of its new Land Trust Climate Change Initiative, funded through a $1 million grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

The grant will catalyze support from other sources to provide $2 million over four years to provide land trusts across the United States with the tools and training they need to adopt climate adaptation and mitigation practices. Specifically, the initiative will:

  • Increase the number of land trusts whose strategic conservation plans address climate impacts and promote climate resilience;
  • Promote the use of land to mitigate climate change through the ability of soils and vegetation to absorb and store carbon; and
  • Empower land trusts through pilot programs in New York to encourage the buildout of renewable energy facilities while steering the facilities away from sensitive lands.

“We are thrilled the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has provided a $1 million catalyst grant to enable the Alliance to launch a new Land Trust Climate Change Initiative,” said Andrew Bowman, the Alliance’s president. “Land trusts want to be smart about climate change as they continue to save land, and they want to promote solutions to climate change that are consistent with their focus on maintaining high-value, functional landscapes. This initiative will empower them to do both.”

“The Land Trust Climate Change Initiative will provide land trusts across the nation with essential information, strategies, technical support and tools they have been seeking to both adapt to and combat climate change in their land conservation work,” said Sacha Spector, the director of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Environment Program. “We share the Land Trust Alliance’s commitment to creating enduring conservation outcomes and are excited to support the launch of this critical effort. We encourage land trusts across the country to make climate change considerations an essential element of their work and welcome other funders to help extend the reach of this important initiative.”

The Land Trust Climate Change Initiative comes at an opportune moment for the Alliance’s 1,000 member land trusts. After investing decades of hard work and billions of dollars in conservation – and as they look to expand their efforts to permanently conserve important landscapes – land trusts are increasingly concerned about climate change impacts. The initiative will provide land trusts with resources designed for an era of climate change to help them better manage lands they already steward and to strategically acquire additional lands.

The Open Space Institute and other Alliance partners welcomed the news.

“Strategic private land conservation of forests and other natural lands plays a pivotal role in conserving the resilient landscapes that protect habitat, sequester carbon and contribute to combatting climate change,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “The Land Trust Climate Change Initiative will help land trusts fulfill their critical role in helping our nation adapt and mitigate to the unpredictability of a changing climate. We thank the Land Trust Alliance for their invaluable leadership and partnership on this initiative.”

Individuals and organizations interested in providing financial support for the initiative should contact Clara A. Nyman, CFRE, the Alliance’s vice president of development, at 202-800-2220.

About the Land Trust Alliance

Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents 1,000 member land trusts supported by more than 200,000 volunteers and 4.6 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices. More information about the Alliance is available at http://www.landtrustalliance.org.

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child wellbeing, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The Environment Program enables communities to protect and manage wildlife habitat and create efficient built environments. To learn more about the foundation, visit http://www.ddcf.org.

About the Open Space Institute

The Open Space Institute protects scenic, natural and historic landscapes to provide public enjoyment, conserve habitat and working lands and sustain communities. Founded in 1974 to protect significant landscapes in New York State, OSI has been a partner in the protection of nearly 2.2 million acres in North America. A leader in environmental conservation, OSI leverages our knowledge and attracts resources for strategic investments to make innovative land conservation happen. Visit OSI online at http://www.osiny.org.

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Joshua Lynsen