Why the Appalachian Landscapes Protection Fund?
Accelerating and unprecedented climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, posing equal threats to nature and people.
Our forests are a critical support to help adapt to and mitigate climate change. The Appalachian Mountain region, stretching 1,500 miles from Alabama to Canada, includes massive stores of forest carbon, absorbing 1 million tons of air pollution each year.
This vast region – the world’s largest temperate broadleaf forest – is an essential resilient refuge for plants and animals, particularly as the climate changes. Tens of millions of people call this region home, relying on its forests and waters for their health and well-being. (Read OSI's report that highlights the critical role of land protection in mitigating carbon pollution.)
Yet the Appalachian forest faces significant threats from encroaching development, poor management, and mineral and energy extraction.
To ensure that this region continues to support plants, animals, and people, OSI launched the Appalachian Landscapes Protection Fund, an $18 million effort that provides capital grants to protect 50,000 acres in key focus areas along the Appalachian Range. To complement land protection efforts, OSI’s Climate Catalyst Program works in partnership with states, local communities, Tribes, land trusts, and other not-for-profit organizations to reduce climate risks for communities disproportionately affected by flooding and other climate-induced threats.
This Fund builds on the success of OSI's Resilient Landscapes Initiative (2013 - 2020), which advanced the use of Climate Resilience Science in land protection. Climate resilience remains a priority in this new fund, along with a new emphasis on forests’ ability to store atmospheric carbon and on community equity and inclusion.