A draft of the Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy was recently released for review and public feedback. The draft document was developed after several months of public engagement that included regional workshops, questionnaires, and advisory panels. Comments on the draft strategy will be accepted through November 9. The document will be used as a framework for increasing engagement of California landscapes in working towards environmental goals.
“Our state is unmatched in natural beauty and has a dynamic agricultural economy that helps feed the world,” California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross said in a news release. “As we release the draft Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy, it is important that we look at the ways in which our farmers and ranchers can help protect the environment as they produce the crops and livestock so integral to the health, well-being, and livelihood of Californians.”
The Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy is being developed in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order to embrace more nature-based solutions to issues of climate change. A definition of California’s natural and working landscapes is outlined in the draft, with descriptions as to how they can be used to support climate goals. Opportunities for climate-smart land management are highlighted in the draft strategy, along with options for tracking progress. Nearly 200 opportunities to scale climate-smart practices across the state are also outlined.
“California is committed to accelerating climate action. With the release of this draft Strategy, we have reached a key milestone on the path toward enlisting our natural and working lands sector in our efforts,” said Wade Crowfoot, Secretary, California Natural Resources Agency. “Reading this draft, I am more optimistic than ever before about the potential for nature-based climate solutions to deliver on California’s environmental, economic, and equity goals.”