Amazon agroforestry co-op shows how to farm sustainably in the rainforest
In remote northwestern Brazil, a group of farmers has set up a co-op that plants native fruit trees on exhausted former ranchland. In the process, the farmers are not only reforesting the area in a way that mimics the natural habitat, they’re earning about five times more per acre from their agroforestry plots annually than local ranchers are earning by clearing the forest to graze their cattle, says FERN's latest story, produced with National Geographic. (No paywall)
Rethinking wildfires at the start of a potentially devastating fire season
California experienced more wildfire last year than any previous year on record, but the severe drought currently strangling nearly three-quarters of the American West threatens to make the 2021 fire season even worse. And while many state and federal agencies are taking extraordinary measures to prevent the further loss of life and property – including prescribed burns, thinning and the deployment of the largest firefighting force in California’s history – some question the efficacy of these increasingly costly measures. (No paywall)
Earth Day vote is set for ‘Growing Climate Solutions’ bill
The Senate Agriculture Committee will vote on Thursday, Earth Day, on a retooled bill that would make it easier for farmers and foresters to earn money for locking carbon into the soil and trees, said chairwoman Debbie Stabenow. A sponsor of the legislation, Stabenow said language was strengthened to assure farmers, rather than investors or middlemen, receive the revenue for climate mitigation.
Loan guarantees proposed to help foresters into carbon markets
A new Senate bill would offer up to $150 million in loan guarantees to companies and nonprofit groups that help small and family-size foresters adopt climate-smart practices and sell carbon credits.
A novel approach to deforestation may also offer a pandemic safety net
A novel conservation group in western Borneo offers healthcare services and training in sustainable farming to curb illegal logging. In the process, the group may have come up with a blueprint to stop diseases from making the deadly leap between wildlife and people, Brian Barth writes in FERN's latest story produced with Popular Science. (No paywall)
Ag must make big changes to reach climate goals, says report
Progress toward limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius — the goal of the Paris Agreement — is “highly insufficient,” “off-track,” “too slow,” and “inadequate” across almost every key sector: power, buildings, industry, transport, agriculture, and forests, the World Resources Institute and the ClimateWorks Foundation said Wednesday in their State of Climate Action report. (No paywall)
Rural Americans want a public lands transfer because they can’t get a public-lands job
The reason Americans rarely take timber jobs in public forests isn’t because they don’t like to work hard. It’s because a combination of immigration laws, tight federal budgets and divisive politics have turned forestry jobs into little more than low-paid servitude, writes Hal Herring in FERN’s story [LINK] with High Country News.
Farm bill could be used to double forest-restoration work
The national forests are frequently judged on two criteria: How many board feet of timber they produce and how much the government spends to fight wildfires, says the Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan policy institute. In a report, it says the 2018 farm bill could create rural jobs, protect drinking water and wildlife, and reduce fire risks by doubling forest restoration work.
Purdue forestry farm to carry name of former US senator
Purdue will re-name its 175-acre forestry farm in honor of long-time Indiana Sen Richard Lugar, the university announced. A former chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Foreign Relations committee, Lugar was senator for 36 years until...
Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are up
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, forestry and fisheries "have nearly doubled over the past 50 years and could increase an additional 30% by 2050," says Feedstuffs.
USDA to release Census of Agriculture on May 2
The Agriculture Department said it will release the full results of the Census of Agriculture on May 2, after more than a year of work.