Sunday, June 16, 2019

Conservation Minute: Conservation in a Changing Climate

lplc conservation minuteConservation efforts at the national and global scale are increasingly considering climate change, and with good reason. Extreme weather events – increased incidence or prolonged periods of drought, cold, heat, or heavy rainfall – are impacting traditional ways of life around the world with greater regularity.

While we often think of the Adirondacks as being a protected haven in the Northeast, those who’ve lived here or visited for years know that we are not immune to a changing climate.

While our federal, state and local officials, environmental leaders, and climate scientists continue to search for solutions and implement plans to help us adapt to the effects of climate change, land conservation is recognized as a steadfast means of ensuring our natural systems and the communities they support will continue to thrive. The key is resiliency.

Very few places are immune to damage and truly resistant to the impacts of environmental stressors. This makes identifying lands that are more resilient to climate change, especially here in the Adirondacks, so important. Resilient lands tend to host a diversity of plants and animals and contain a variety of features, like mountains, valleys and rivers. A diverse landscape is better able to cope with stressors of a changing climate and recover more quickly after an extreme weather event, thereby creating greater protections for wildlife and humans alike.

It is important to factor resiliency into land conservation strategies in the Adirondack Park particularly because of our diverse topography and unique mixture of lands held in public and private ownership. Through private land conservation efforts, we have the capacity to build the Park’s resiliency by identifying and protecting areas with varying degrees of diversity and creating linkages with larger tracts of the Forest Preserve. From geology to elevation, protecting diverse landscapes ensures that we protect the broadest set of habitats and increases the chances that plants and animals can adapt to climate change.

The Lake Placid Land Conservancy provides this Conservation Minute. For more information on the Conservancy’s conservation efforts, visit their website.

 

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Kerry Crowningshield is the Executive Director of the Lake Placid Land Conservancy, a community land trust working to conserve land in Lake Placid and the Ausable and Saranac River watersheds. She joined LPLC in 2016 as the Outreach Coordinator where she implemented a citizen science monitoring program and helped our communities better understand local resources and how to protect them. Prior to her work with LPLC, Kerry worked with the Lake Champlain Basin Program informing communities about water quality issues and threats facing the Lake Champlain Basin. Kerry lives in Port Kent near her extended family. When not working, you’ll find her kayaking, gardening, hiking, or photographing the many sights the Adirondacks has to offer.




4 Responses

  1. Bob Glennon says:

    At last Thursday’s APA meeting, Art Lussi commended staff for issuing clearcut permits faster than before; that set me wondering whether in the world of climate change clearcutting should no longer be allowed.

    • Boreas says:

      Bob,

      There are many different types of clearcutting, some good, many bad. Sometimes certain types of targeted clearcutting that leaves behind significant biomass can be beneficial as it can simulate natural blowdowns and burns. But I doubt that is the reason for most of those permits. And what effect will clearcuts of any type have on ash and hemlock stands threatened by invasive species? Will it help or weaken those stands? Has anyone studied that? Or is the idea to extract as much ash and hemlock before they die from disease? Who knows? The pros and cons of each clearcut should be assessed both before and after the permit is issued, otherwise we will learn nothing.

  2. Bob Glennon says:

    Boreas, thanks. This English major humbly recognizes he ain’t no forester, but boy I’ve had it up to here with the foresters going on and on ’bout how it’s a legitimate silvicultural technique, “releasing” the stand and all that.
    I just wish I had faith the APA would indeed assess the pros and cons of each one, especially with an eye to its climate implications, but nah.

    • Boreas says:

      Bob,

      With the terms “global warming” and “climate change” verboten by this administration, there isn’t likely to be many comprehensive forestry studies done any time soon.

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