As the climate continues to change, OSI is doubling down on efforts to protect high carbon storage landscapes forests as we lead the field to better plan for and manage climate impacts.
Thanks to the efforts of OSI and our partners, the land saved in 2023 will store 2.6 million metric tons of forest carbon, the equivalent of taking 2.1 million gas powered cars off the road for one year. This forestland will sequester an estimated 7,000 metric tons of carbon annually, equivalent to taking 5,700 additional cars off the road annually.
With conservation organizations, land managers, and government agencies in a critical position to address climate change, OSI is ensuring that data can be accessed and used effectively across the field. This year, OSI began leading a major upgrade to the National Forest Carbon Monitoring System funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Legacy Program that will help land managers, conservationists, and land trusts better understand and use forest carbon data in their efforts to reduce atmospheric carbon and combat climate change.
OSI’s Appalachian Landscapes Protection Fund (ALPF) continues to harness land conservation to fight climate change and protect biodiversity along the Appalachian Mountain range. In the Northeast, the ALPF supported protection of one of the last remaining parcels along a beloved scenic ridgeline in southern Vermont; in Maine, OSI secured two properties to expand recreation and protect forest carbon storage, and forever protected 360 acres of heavily-forested property on Sebago Lake, adding to the region’s network of conserved lands; more than doubled the size of a preserve in New Hampshire to re-establish forested buffers and preserve water quality across more than six miles of riverbanks draining into the Connecticut River; and helped close the last gap in a 150,000-acre conservation corridor in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. In a significant step in a three-phase effort to conserve the Kennebago Headwaters, OSI facilitated the protection of more than 5,000 acres in Maine that not only maintain precious wild brook trout habitat, but also enhance the region’s resilience to climate change. The ALPF also played a significant role in securing land for forest carbon storage in Tennessee, protecting nearly 130 acres to the Cumberland Trail and another 115 acres along the Whites Creek Gorge.
Finally, to amplify the efforts of local organizations across the nation, OSI is partnering for the third year with the Land Trust Alliance to provide grants and technical assistance to help conservation organizations respond to and mitigate the impacts of climate change. This year, the Land and Climate Program received the most-ever applications and distributed nearly $450,000 – the largest total amount of funding awarded in the program’s history.
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