2017 Year in Review: Land for Changes in Climate & Habitat

Photo Credit: Pappys Island, SC Mac Stone
Safeguarding large landscapes has always been a key strategy for sequestering carbon dioxide. Building on the notion that land is an invaluable resource in battling climate change, OSI is deploying climate-resilience science to identify the natural areas that will help protect wildlife into the future.

Atop the biologically rich Southern Cumberland Plateau, nearly 13,000 acres were acquired and added to Tennessee state parks and wildlife management areas, thanks in large part to OSI. And along the Maine coast, OSI supported the conservation of more than 2,300 acres of sensitive wildlife habitat and exemplary wetlands.

OSI is also helping train local land partners how to use the science themselves. In early 2017, OSI, the Land Trust Alliance, and other organizations launched a new program to help land trusts fight climate change. So far, OSI has been in contact with 500 local land trusts across the country to incorporate resilience into their strategic conservation plans.

Meanwhile, building on an acquisition we made last year, OSI transferred one of the last undeveloped islands within South Carolina’s Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Pappy’s Island, a 104-acre marsh hummock island, plays an invaluable role in protecting sensitive wildlife habitat and coastal communities from storm surges and sea level rise.

In another sweeping conservation success, OSI protected the remaining 2,000 acres of Fairlawn Plantation in the heart of South Carolina's 290,000-acre Francis Marion National Forest.  The newly conserved property contains some of the largest and healthiest stands of longleaf pine in the Southeast.

OSI’s Citizen Action Program is also engaged in fighting the impacts of climate change. For example, one of our sponsored groups, Seedshed, is keeping alive heirloom seeds and traditional plant breeding techniques in the face of corporate agribusiness and climate change, all while communicating why it is important to save society’s heritage seeds — before it’s too late.

Back to 2017 Accomplishments page.

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