Climate Change Mitigation on Natural and Working Lands
- January 2019 Draft: California 2030 Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan
- Draft Technical Document: CALAND Version 3
- California Climate Investments Natural Resources Programs
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:
- Protect land from conversion to more emissions-intensive uses through conservation and planning;
- 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
- 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
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)
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-
- The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s (CAL FIRE) Fire Prevention Grants Program, Forest Health Grants Program, California Forest Legacy Program, California Forest Improvement Program, and Vegetation Management Program
- The California Forest Carbon Plan
- The Department of Conservation’s Forest Health Watershed Coordinator Program
- Governor Brown’s May 2018 Executive Order to Protect Communities from Wildfire, Climate Impacts
- The Board of Forestry’s AB 1504 Forest Ecosystem and Harvested Wood Product Carbon Inventory
- The Redwood Rising Initiative at California State Parks
- SB 859 Wood Products Working Group
Ecosystem restoration and conservation planning-
- The Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Wetlands Restoration for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program
- The State Coastal Conservancy’s Climate Ready Program
- The Ocean Protection Council’s Climate Change Program
- All programs at the Wildlife Conservation Board, including its Habitat Enhancement and Restoration Program, Climate Adaptation Program, Oak Woodlands Conservation Program, and Riparian Habitat Conservation Program
- The Department of Water Resources West Delta Program
- Natural Community Conservation Plans, Regional Conservation Investment Strategies and program tools, Mitigation and Conservation Banks, and other incentive-based conservation tools overseen by the Department of Fish and Wildlife
- The Natural Resources Agency’s Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Grant Program
Agricultural land and rangeland conservation-
- The Wildlife Conservation Board’s Rangeland, Grazing Land, and Grassland Protection Program and Ecosystem Restoration on Agricultural Lands Program
- The Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program, managed by the Department of Conservation on behalf of the Strategic Growth Council
Urban forestry and urban greening-
- California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment included many projects related to natural and working lands
- Recently awarded grants through the Strategic Growth Council’s Climate Change Research Program
Please check back soon for information on future public workshops/webinars in 2019.
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
|South Coast & Mountains
LA – June 21
|San Joaquin Valley
Fresno – June 28
|SF Bay Area
Oakland – June 18
Redding – June 22
Salinas – July 2
Santa Rosa – June 20
|Sacramento Valley & Delta
Davis – June 26
Carlsbad – August 2
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.
January 17, 2018: California Natural and Working Lands Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Model (CALAND) Development Webinars on Agricultural and Cultivated Lands and Forests
- Agricultural lands webinar recording
- Forest Lands webinar recording
- CALAND Question and Answer Topics: This sheet summarizes questions on the CALAND model received from public comments and State agencies. It proposes how Berkeley Lab and the CALAND Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) will follow up with model development in each topic area
- Agenda – Agricultural Lands webinar
- Agenda – Forest lands webinar
October 13, 2017: Public Workshop on the Proposed Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan and CALAND Model Development
- Implementation Plan Proposed Process
- CALAND Model Development and Next Steps
- CALAND Technical Description
- Application to Participate in CALAND Technical Committee
- CALAND Presentation
- Workshop Presentation
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
- Scoping Plan, Local Action, Scenarios Presentation
- Preliminary Economic Analysis Presentation; Economic Modeling and Environmental Policy Choice Presentation
- ARB Natural & Working Lands Inventory Presentation
- CNRA Natural & Working Lands Presentation
- Public Health Presentation
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments, feedback, or concerns.