A New Vision for Conservation
The new Northeast Resilient Landscape Initiative will engage land trusts and public agencies to respond to climate change.
June 25, 2012 – The Open Space Institute recently gathered a group of prominent scientists to kick-off planning for an exciting new initiative focused on climate change and wildlife adaptation in the Northeast.
The science panel will help identify a list of “resilient” landscapes that OSI will winnow to two to four sites. Within these landscapes, OSI will regrant $5.5 million for land protection projects that facilitate wildlife adaptation in an era of climate change. The new program, called the Northeast Resilient Landscapes Initiative (Resiliency Initiative), capitalized with a $6 million lead grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, will also provide land trusts with assistance in planning and mapping to utilize new climate science in their land protection work.
Resilient sites are natural places likely to withstand the growing impact of climate change and to offer refuge to a diverse array of plants and animals. New scientific research undertaken by The Nature Conservancy identifies the most resilient sites in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. (link to TNC report, Resilient Sites for Terrestrial Conservation in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Region, PDF)
Through the Resiliency Initiative, OSI will engage land trusts and public agencies across 13 northeastern United States to better respond to climate change. In the two to four sites selected, OSI will make capital grants to acquire land most likely to facilitate wildlife adaptation well into the future. The Initiative will also build capacity for land trusts working to respond to climate change in these sites, and to share information more broadly about effective strategies to conserve land in an era of climate change.