Natural Climate Solutions

Investing in land and water conservation and restoration that can help reduce greenhouse gases and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Why it matters:

Natural climate solutions are investments in land and water conservation and restoration that can help reduce greenhouse gases and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. We cannot meet our climate change goals either here in the Yampa Valley or at the global stage without increasing our investments in conserving nature. Conserving and restoring lands and waters provides other benefits, such as cleaner water, more wildlife, and more access for recreation. At the same time, we can create new jobs helping to restore wetlands or plant new trees. Natural climate solutions can be found in our forests, grasslands, wetlands, and agricultural lands, uniting our landscapes and the people that inhabit them.

What we’re doing:
  • Yampa River Forest Restoration Project YVSC is partnering with the City of Steamboat Springs and the Colorado State Forest Service to restore riparian forests along the Yampa River. Planting trees, with community engagement through ReTree, helps sequester carbon from the atmosphere, provides shade to lower water temperature, and creates habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.
  • Forest health Helping to sustain high-altitude forests in the Yampa Valley is one of the most important climate actions we can take. YVSC is a leading member of the Routt County Wildfire Mitigation Council supporting projects to help build resilience in our forests and protect our watersheds. 
  • Wetland restoration Wetlands along our rivers and scattered throughout our forests and grasslands provide multiple benefits by sequestering carbon and improving water quality. As soils become drier with warming temperatures, wetlands can help hold water leading to healthier rivers. YVSC is working with partners to design and implement wetland restoration projects on the Yampa River.

Natural climate solutions plan  In conjunction with the Climate Action Plan, YVSC is working with stakeholders, including agricultural landowners to identify opportunities for voluntary actions on private lands to plant trees and build soil carbon as a climate solution.

What you can do:
  • Volunteer with the Yampa Valley Climate Crew to help plant trees and restore wetlands.
  • Join our annual ReTree event supporting the Yampa River Forest Restoration Project.
  • Calculate your family’s or business’ annual carbon footprint and take steps to reduce them. Then, donate to programs that can offset your emissions.
  • Help build soil carbon by composting your organic waste and adding compost to your gardens and yards.

Features

This article discusses the importance of natural climate solutions as climate action strategies.

The Yampa River Fund is an important funding source for YVSC’s NCS work.

PBS’ This American Land and Water Education Colorado highlight ReTree’s planting event in its tenth year.