Category Archives: Land Conservation

It’s apple season – and for good reason

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Since autumn is finally here, along comes one of our favorite treats: apples.  It’s no wonder we celebrate Johnny Appleseed on September 26th.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt as a good excuse for making yummy apple treats, or maybe a delicious apple pie!

On that day, we applaud the pioneer nurseryman, John Chapman, who spread apple seeds across the young Midwest United States and who we have to thank for apple trees all over America today!

John Chapman was an apple orchardist, traveling the young Mid Atlantic, planting trees on his way – whereas he was given the name Johnny Appleseed. During his travels, he would teach landowners how to establish nurseries of apple trees and how to keep deer and other animals from eating the sprouts. Appleseed was also an animal rights activist and condemned all cruelty towards all living creatures, even insects.

Considered ahead of his time, Johnny Appleseed became an icon of the conservation movement. He is truly an example of how one individual can make a great impact!

One of our projects, Save Our Urban Landscape (SOUL), has become a modern-day Johnny Appleseed.  By planting thousands of trees in the city of New Orleans, they are creating thriving urban forests which have a significant impact on the environmental challenges facing New Orleans.

And just like Johnny Appleseed, SOUL envisions growing and training a workforce of urban farmers who have the potential to play a viable role in green infrastructure. These farms can generate green jobs while also providing food access in marginalized neighborhoods.

But like Johnny Appleseed, remember that you, too, can make a difference. Support our own Johnny Appleseed of New Orleans with a tax-deductible donation to SOUL.

Written by Lærke Vendel Steen, visiting communications and marketing intern from Denmark.

What you can do to help our national public lands

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National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands.  Held annually on the fourth Saturday in September, it’s also a “fee-free day”, meaning your entrance fees are waived at national parks and other public lands.

The United States public lands are the places everyone to use for outdoor recreation, education, and just plain enjoyment.  The lands encompass national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, forests, grasslands, marine sanctuaries, lakes, and reservoirs, as well as state, county, and city parks that are managed by public agencies, but that belong to and are enjoyed by all Americans.

In 1872, the creation of Yellowstone National Park began a tradition of setting aside some federally managed land for recreation and conservation. Since 1906, under the  Antiquities Act,  US presidents have been protecting areas of unique historic, scenic, or scientific interest from mining, logging, and other development.  Today, more than 30 percent of the United States is public lands.

Yet critics contend that some recently designated sites are too big, too burdensome on nearby communities, and don’t deserve national monument status. In April, President Donald Trump ordered the US Department of the Interior to review more than 25 public land sites created since 1996 to determine whether they should be reduced in size or eliminated altogether.

Trump’s executive order, however, has rekindled a long-simmering debate over how much of America’s public lands should be reserved for recreational and aesthetic purposes — or should they be used for their natural resources and potential jobs.

As the debate rages on, outdoor products companies large and small are coming together to voice concern over US public lands policy. In August, the CEOs of more than 350 American outdoor businesses signed a joint letter urging Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to maintain existing national monuments and to “defend the integrity of the monument-making process.”

Although the outdoor industry is waking up to realize they have a political voice, you have a voice, too. During National Public Lands Day show your support by using this day to visit the lands that give us so much. (And remember on the fourth Saturday of September, your admission to any park is free!) You can also show your support by joining Save Our Outdoors (free as well). When there,  you can change your Facebook profile picture to show your solidarity in saving public lands.

The outdoors awaits

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Over the course of more than 150 years, a once-radical idea has evolved into a cohesive United States national parks system, with a sometimes conflicting two part-mission: to make the parks accessible to all and to preserve them for future generations.

North and south, east and west, they stretch from the edges of our maps to the hearts of our cities, covering nearly one-third of the country. This June, celebrate the natural wonder and outdoor spirit of America by getting outside during Great Outdoors Month.

June is a special time to celebrate America’s great outdoors and all the benefits it brings, including annual economic impact of $650 billion nationwide. That’s why June has been named Great Outdoors Month.

Whether camping, fishing, rock climbing, or playing in a neighborhood park, nature offers each of us the opportunity to get active, explore, and strengthen our bonds with family and friends.  It’s also a time great to uphold our nation’s legacy of conserving our lands for future generations.

So as you enjoy the great outdoors, think also about how you can better support it.

Living with Floods in Louisiana

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“An estimated 6.9 trillion gallons of rain fell on Louisiana between Aug. 8-14. In less than one week, 31.30 inches fell….[w]e must think about how we can learn to live with water, even at this scale of inundation. We can’t avoid the rain, but we can prevent the flood.”
~Susannah Burley and Andreas Merkl, The ADVOCATE, Baton Rouge, Sept. 1, 2016.

Susannah is the project director of Sustaining Our Urban Landscape (SOUL), one of our newer projects focused on driving a resilient and equitable New Orleans through strengthening local water and food systems. Andreas Merkl, is a resident of New Orleans, Chairs the SOUL Advisory Committee, and is the CEO of Ocean Conservancy.

Read the Full Article here and learn more about SOUL here and here.

Photo Credit: Prairieville, LA, Photo by J.T. Blatty/FEMA

Root Solutions and the Story of Stuff

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RSIt’s very exciting to see one of our projects, Root Solutions, featured for the cool work that they are doing, and what better place to be featured than on the Story of Stuff Project blog?

Root Solutions is dedicated to providing conservationists and policy makers with tools and resources informed by the proven methods of behavioral science, allowing them to create more effective campaigns, polices and strategies that reflect how people process information and make decisions. With techniques like, “green nudges,” people can be motivated to use behavior that is  both good for them and good for the environment.

The project is the brainchild of Nya Van Leuvan and Rod Fujita, who met at the Environmental Defense Fund where they led the introduction of decision science to their colleagues. The project is also producing a book called “Choices for Change: Using Behavioral Insights to Save the Planet,” which they hope will help policy-makers, advocates, and the general public understand how to frame and encourage behavior that makes conservation a part of our daily lives.

Read more about how behavioral science can improve conservation outcomes at the Root Solutions  website and on the Story of Stuff blog!

Welcome to the Grumeti Community and Wildlife Conservation Fund!

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TCI is pleased to welcome the Grumeti Community and Wildlife Conservation Fund to our growing portfolio of Habitat and Species Conservation programs! Based in Tanzania, the Grumeti Fund works to safeguard and enhance Africa’s Serengeti ecosystem in the Singita Grumeti reserve.  Grumeti Fund’s programs are diverse and include habitat protection, anti-poaching activities, fire management, the prevention of invasive species that threaten the native ecosystem, environmental education, and natural resource conservation.  Grumeti Fund also supports surrounding communities by helping them meet basic needs through the development of clean water systems and by fueling sustainable jobs and resource-based enterprises.

Founded by seasoned international conservationists, the Grumeti Fund is a Tanzanian non-governmental organization.  In the United States, the Grumeti Fund is sponsored by TCI and tax-deductible contributions received by TCI are regranted to the Grumeti Fund to support their charitable work.

Learn more about the Grumeti Fund.

Welcome, Blue Ridge-Berryessa Partnership!

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It’s our pleasure to welcome the Blue Ridge-Berryessa Partnership (BRBP) to our project portfolio.  BRBP is a collaborative network of private landowners, public agencies, nonprofit organization, and businesses focused on conserving and stewarding California’s upper Putah and Cache Creek watersheds, which together encompass over 785,000 acres. BRBP was founded in 1997 by the Homestead Mining Company, which was in the process of closing the McLaughlin Mine and sought to create a forum for land managers in the area to meet and discuss the disposition of the related land to the University of California Natural Reserve System.  Today, the partnership includes over 100 partners dedicated to the conservation and enhancement of the region’s natural, agricultural, recreational, archeological and historical resources.  BRBP’s activities are focused educating members on important regional issues and creating a network and forum for sharing concerns and resolving differences when they arise.

Learn more about the Blue Ridge-Berryessa Partnership.

Welcome, East Bali Watershed Initiative!

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It’s our pleasure to welcome East Bali Watershed Initiative to our growing portfolio of projects.  Indonesia’s 17,000 islands face tough decisions on how to provide basic services to inhabitants without irreparably damaging its rich natural resources and biological diversity.   East Bali Watershed Initiative is working to protect, restore and support environmentally sustainable economic development in East Bali.

Learn more about the East Bali Watershed Initiative.

Training Indigenous Tribes to Guard One of the Wildest Places on Earth

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UAC-twisting-riverAn Interview with Chris Fagan, Founder and Director, Upper Amazon Conservancy (UAC)

 

What is The Upper Amazon Conservancy’s mission?

The UAC is dedicated to protecting the biological and cultural diversity of the upper Amazon River in southeastern Peru. We work in partnership with Peru’s park service, indigenous federations and communities, and other conservation organizations to strengthen protected areas and build the conservation capacity of local inhabitants.

Why the Upper Amazon? What attracted you to this region?

I was working for a professor at Duke developing a watchdog organization for protected areas in Central and South America.  In 2002, I had the opportunity to take part in an expedition to a very remote part of the Amazon headwaters in southeastern Peru called the Alto Purus. Our objective was to provide the Peruvian government with the scientific justification make the area a national park. We looked at everything from tree and mammal diversity to gathering socio-economic data on local indigenous communities. In 2004, the area became the Alto Purus National Park, which is Peru’s largest national park (over three times the size of Yellowstone). That’s around the same time that I decided I wanted to create an organization to focus on protecting this remarkable region, arguably one of the wildest places on earth. Continue reading