Climate Change Mitigation on Natural and Working Lands

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Overview

California’s natural and working lands include rangelands, forests, woodlands, wetlands, grasslands, shrubland, farmland, riparian areas, and urban green space. They cover more than 90 percent of the State and supply life-sustaining resources including clean water, air, food, and fiber. With their potential to sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and increase the capacity for California to withstand inevitable climate impacts, these lands are a critical component of California’s integrated climate change strategy. However, some sources show that California’s natural and working lands are a net greenhouse gas source, losing more carbon than they are sequestering, with wildfire being the largest cause of carbon loss. The Natural Resources Agency and its sister agencies and departments are developing policy and implementing programs to mitigate disturbances on natural and working lands and protect these lands from conversion to more intensive land uses.

State-led restoration, conservation, and management efforts aim to achieve the State’s vision for the Natural and Working Lands sector to:

  1. Protect land from conversion to more emissions-intensive uses through conservation and planning;
  2. Enhance the resilience of and potential for carbon sequestration through management and restoration and reduce GHG and black carbon emissions from wildfire and management activities; and
  3. Innovate biomass utilization from forestry and agricultural activities so that harvested wood and excess agricultural and forest biomass can be used to advance statewide objectives for renewable energy and fuels, wood product manufacturing, agricultural markets, soil health, and rural economic development.

California 2030 Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan

*NEW* The January 2019 Draft 2030 Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan is now available on the California Air Resources Board webpage.

The objectives of this Plan are to:

  • Expand the use of natural and working lands for climate mitigation and adaptation by integrating climate goals into State-funded natural and working land conservation, restoration, and management programs;
  • Significantly increase and improve conservation, restoration, and management of California’s natural and working lands through State programs and other means, to enhance their resilience to worsening climate change impacts, sequester carbon, and reduce GHGs;
  • Identify next steps for taking a more comprehensive approach to addressing the policy challenges facing our natural and working lands, including their contributions to achieving carbon-neutrality and meeting our long-term climate objectives.

The 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan Update directed the State to develop this Plan to reduce GHG emissions and to cultivate net carbon sequestration potential for California’s natural and working lands. The Plan will also support Executive Order B-55-18, which establishes a goal for the State to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 and maintain net-negative greenhouse gas emissions thereafter.

California Natural and Working Lands Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Model (CALAND)

Draft Technical Document for CALAND Version 3 (Updated in June 2019)

CALAND Model Version 3 on CNRA’s Open Data Platform

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is working with CNRA and other agencies to develop CALAND, a model that projects the carbon benefits of different scenarios for state-funded conservation, restoration, and management activities. Since the end of 2017, CNRA has convened a Technical Advisory Committee, including state agency and public members, to provide input to Berkeley Labs on data and methods to consider for use in CALAND. Version 3 of the model was finalized in Fall 2018 in support of the Draft California 2030 Natural and Working Lands Implementation Plan. The Draft Technical Document for CALAND Version 3 is available here. The Technical Documentation for CALAND Version 2, which was developed from December 2016-October 2017, is available here.

Related Investments, Plans, and Research

California has made significant investments in programs that fund climate benefits on natural and working lands through Natural Resources Agency programs and other initiatives. In addition to protecting landscapes, removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and sequestering carbon, these programs restore lands that have been degraded by fragmentation, over-grazing, topsoil loss, severe forest fires, and other disturbances; create new green space and parks in cities; keep farmland in production; and help ecosystems adapt to a changing climate. Investments include more than $600 million of Cap-and-Trade dollars that have been leveraged for natural and working lands strategies to date.

Related investments, plans, and research related to climate change and California’s natural and working lands include:

Forest health and management-

Ecosystem restoration and conservation planning-

Agricultural land and rangeland conservation-

Urban forestry and urban greening-

Research-


Upcoming Events

June 26, 2019: Public Workshop on the California Natural and Working Lands Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Model (CALAND)

TIME: 10am- 12pm Wednesday June 26 (previously scheduled for May 30)

LOCATION: Sacramento State Downtown Hub, 304 S Street, Sacramento CA, 95811

WEBINAR: For remote access, please register here>>

This public workshop will describe updates included in Version 3 of the CALAND model, which was one of two models used to calculate cumulative changes in emissions from various land management and conservation practices in the January 2019 Draft California 2030 Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan. Since August 2016, Alan Di Vittorio and Maegen Simmonds of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have worked with CNRA and its sister agencies to develop CALAND, a model that projects the carbon benefits of different scenarios for state-funded conservation, restoration, and management activities. The Draft Technical Document for CALAND Version 3 is available here.


Past Events

November 2, 2018: Public Workshop on the California 2030 Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan

The workshop notice is available here.

June-August 2018: Regional Meetings on California’s Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan

The California Natural Resources Agency, California Air Resources Board, California Department of Food and Agriculture, and California Environmental Protection Agency invite you to participate in regional public meetings on the development of California’s Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan.

Sierra Nevada & Foothills
Auburn – June 8
View presentation
South Coast & Mountains
LA – June 21
View presentation
San Joaquin Valley
Fresno – June 28
View presentation
SF Bay Area
Oakland – June 18
View presentation
Klamath Cascade
Redding – June 22
View presentation
Central Coast
Salinas – July 2
View presentation
North Coast
Santa Rosa – June 20
View presentation
Sacramento Valley & Delta
Davis – June 26
View presentation
San Diego
Carlsbad – August 2
View presentation

May 18, 2018: Public Workshop for the California Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan

The California Natural Resources Agency, California Department of Food and Agriculture, California Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board, and Strategic Growth Council are jointly hosting a public workshop to discuss and solicit input on the development of the Natural and Working Lands Implementation Plan (Implementation Plan) and associated 2030 intervention-based goal for carbon sequestration.

Workshop materials:

January 17, 2018: California Natural and Working Lands Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Model (CALAND) Development Webinars on Agricultural and Cultivated Lands and Forests

Webinar materials:

October 13, 2017: Public Workshop on the Proposed Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan and CALAND Model Development

Workshop Materials:

December 14, 2016: Public Workshop on Carbon Sequestration Modeling Methods and Initial Results for the Natural & Working Lands Sector in the 2030 Target Scoping Plan

November 7, 2016: Public Workshop on the 2030 Target Scoping Plan Update: GHG Policy Scenarios, Natural & Working Lands, and Public Health Analysis

March 23, 2016: Public Workshop on the Natural and Working Lands Sector to Inform Development of the 2030 Target Scoping Plan Update


Listserv and Staff Contacts

Click here to Sign-up for the CNRA Climate ListServ.

Please contact Emma Johnston, Climate Change Policy Analyst at emma.johnston@resources.ca.gov with questions, comments, feedback, or concerns.