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LandSmart™ integrates carbon farm planning into its conservation effort, across three north bay counties and an array of agricultural land use types

posted Jul 30, 2015, 10:08 AM by NBCAI North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative   [ updated May 2, 2016, 10:12 PM ]

LandSmart™ is a regional conservation planning program in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino Counties that helps land managers meet their natural resource management goals while supporting productive land, thriving streams, and on-farm wildlife habitat.

The carbon farm planning project recognizes that as much as one-third of the surplus CO2 in the atmosphere driving climate change has resulted from land management practices on agricultural lands. Carbon farming can capture carbon in the soil and plant material, while enhancing soil health and productivity.

What strategies are in the carbon farming tool belt?

  • Apply compost to rangelands: Applying compost to 5% of CA rangelands would increase soil carbon storage by the equivalent of 6 million metric tons of CO2 annually and greatly increasing soil fertility and pasture productivity

  • Replant stream corridors: Replanting stream corridors on 2% of California’s agricultural land would grow the equivalent of 7 million metric tons of CO2 annually, and dramatically increase habitat and water quality

  • Use perennial cover crops: Using perennial cover crops and no-tillage on 50% of California farmland would prevent 9 million metric tons of CO2e

  • Installing methane digesters on 45% of California dairies would prevent 5 million metric tons of CO2e annually

The project will allow the LandSmart™ partners to develop a carbon planning component to the standard LandSmart™ plans. LandSmart™ was developed by Resource Conservation Districts in all four North Bay counties with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, land managers, and resource agencies.