Resilient Land and Water

Reducing emissions and increasing resilience through land and water conservation actions.

The goal of our Resilient Land and Water Priority Area is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience through land and water conservation and management actions, including opportunities to increase carbon sequestration.

Investing in land management and water conservation actions that increase carbon sequestration and resilience is essential to sustaining our Yampa Valley region, and the world as we know it. A recent study by Griscom et al. (2017)[2] highlights that up to 1/3 of our global emissions reductions can be achieved through the enhancement of land management practices that reduce carbon emissions — known as natural climate solutions (NCS). We can not meet our climate goals without reducing emissions through land and water conservation actions. At the same time, current and projected temperatures are increasing, creating stresses on natural systems and water supplies. Investing in resilience strategies like reforestation and water conservation bolster our capacity to endure current and future changes in a proactive versus reactive way.

Click the links below to learn more about the work YVSC is doing in each of these sectors.

Trees planted since 2010

Through YVSC’s ReTree event

CO2 sequestered over 50 years with ReTree 2020 plantings
0 million pounds of CO2

As much as 350 cars emit in 1 year

Resilient Land and Water RELATED



Yampa Valley Natural Climate Solutions

NCS are land management practices — conservation, restoration, and improved management — in our grasslands, forests and wetlands that increase carbon storage and resilience and reduce GHG emissions. NCS have the potential to deliver up to one-third of our needed global GHG emissions reductions by 2030, and up to one-fifth of our national GHG emissions, and increase resilience by increasing soil, river and forest health. For YVSC, creating NCS pathways that work means bringing the people and landscapes of this unique alpine, agricultural and riparian region together through climate action.

Soil Moisture, Water & Snow

The water landscape in the west is changing: it is drying as a result of increased temperatures caused by climate change. In Colorado we have long relied on our snowpack to supply 63% of the water in the Upper Yampa River basin, but as snowpack decreases, spring melt shifts earlier, dryer ground uptakes more water and evaporative loss increases, our relationship with water in the west also changes. In partnership with Colorado Mountain College (CMC) and the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes (CW3E), YVSC is working to connect climate change science and soil moisture monitoring data with local water managers’ needs so that our decision-making and water use patterns align with a sustainable Yampa Valley future.

Yampa Valley Climate Crew

The goal of the Yampa Valley Climate Crew is to give community members access to volunteer opportunities that address the climate threat facing our planet, so that they, too, can be a part of the climate action solution.

These projects will include tree planting, wetland and riparian habitat restoration, and site maintenance, all of which increase carbon sequestration and resilience. People of all ages are welcome to participate and give back to the natural landscapes that we all appreciate and receive so much from. You’ll have the opportunity to work on projects hosted by organizations like the US Forest Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and yes, YVSC! There are many projects here in the Yampa Valley that address our climate crisis through carbon sequestration, and all they need is an impassioned labor force to do the job.

Wildfire Mitigation and Education

The frequency of high-intensity, long-duration wildfires is increasing in our warming and drying intermountain west, causing an array of impacts on air quality, water quality, hydrological regimes (increased drying) and public health. Where we live, how we act and what we know can either increase or mitigate the risk of high-intensity, long-duration wildfires. Through our partnership with the Routt County Wildfire Mitigation Council, YVSC connects Yampa Valley residents and tourists with information and action plans to promote fire-safe behaviors, mitigated landscapes and defensible space.

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