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Christine Jones on soil and carbon
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Nevada County Agriculture and Climate Change
Agriculture worldwide is a sizable contributor to greenhouse gas production through consumption of fossil fuels and release from soil treatments. It is also a vital resource for everyone and is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Some estimates that modifications to conservation-oriented farming practices alone could reduce atmospheric CO2 equivalents by 50 gigatons incorporating an array of practices in world agriculture could save as much as 115 gigatons and produce cost savings to society of $8819 billion dollars over their life cycles.
We are looking at Nevada County agriculture for what part we can play in our state’s efforts and worldwide movement to fight climate change. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) planning tool below yielded this data about practices applicable to our county where pasture, rangeland, and timber take up most of the land. Any practices that are promoted need to not only reduce emissions but also save farmers money and protect their resources.
Notes on Soil Not Oil conference
More roots = more carbon sequestered
Decarbonize the economy; decarbonize the biosphere
Desalinize the water - Using the nuclear power of the sun
Climate change: glaciers melting, droughts, ocean acidification, hurricanes
The planet is trying to break its fever - glaciers melting
Climate change provides the opportunity to return nutrients to the soil
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to plan and implement conservation practices that improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related natural resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland. EQIP may also help producers meet Federal, State, Tribal, and local environmental regulations.
Click below for more information.
National Conservation Resource Service
NRCS was established to help farmers with guidance and, in some cases, grants or loans to achieve the conservation goals. One program is the Conservation Stewardship Program. Click here for details.
Guide to Farming Friendly Solar
Farms use a significant amount of energy, including diesel fuel for tractors and trucks, heating oil and/or propane for buildings, water heaters, and greenhouses, and electricity for refrigeration, lighting, and ventilation. Dairy farms use a lot of electricity, especially for cooling the milk and for ventilation.
For farms seeking to reduce expenses, generating electricity on the farm is appealing. Additionally, the possibility of a steady income stream for electricity generated beyond what the farm uses can be an important economic asset.
Click below for full article on solar farming.
California Cap and Trade
SACRAMENTO, July 7, 2017 - CDFA will begin accepting applications today from non-profit organizations, California academic institutions, and California Resource Conservation Districts for grant funds to provide technical assistance to applicants for grants from the Healthy Soils Program (HSP) Incentives Program, funded by California's cap-and-trade program.
HSP is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment-particularly in disadvantaged communities.
The Department of Conservation is working in cooperation with the Natural Resources Agency and the Strategic Growth Council (SGC) to implement the SALC Program. The SALC Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities. The cap-and-trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investment projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are made in disadvantaged and low-income communities. For more information, visit California Climate Investments.
Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program
The SALC Program is now accepting applications for Agricultural Conservation Easement and Strategy and Outcome grants. FY2016-17 grant application forms and materials are available on our Application page.
The Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALC Program) is a component of the Strategic Growth Council's Affordable Housing and Sustainability Program (AHSC). The AHSC, administered by the Strategic Growth Council, aims “to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through project that implement land use, housing, transportation, and agricultural land preservation practices to support infill and compact development…”
The SALC Program complement investments made in urban areas with the purchase of agricultural conservation easements, development of agricultural land strategy plans, and other mechanisms that result in GHG reductions and a more resilient agricultural sector. In future years, the SALC Program is proposed to support farm-scale conservation management practices that further promote reductions in GHG emissions and increases in soil carbon sequestration.
The Department of Conservation is working in cooperation with the Natural Resources Agency and the SGC to implement the SALC Program. The program invests in agricultural land conservation with revenue from California's California Climate Investments (CCI) Fund, made available for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing additional benefits to California communities. The CCI is derived from quarterly cap-and-trade auction proceeds, which are administered by the California Air Resources Board.
The Strategic Growth Council approved funding totaling $37.4 million for twenty FY 2015-16 SALC Program projects on August 9, 2016. For additional information on previous years' funding, please visit the Background Documents page and Funded Projects page.
Please see the SGC web site for more information about the overall AHSC program.