Natural Climate Solutions

Fog cover the forest.

Chief Sponsors: Senator Dembrow, Representative Marsh, Senator Golden, Representative Neron

 

What are natural climate solutions? Activities that protect or enhance the ability of natural and working lands to sequester and store carbon or reduce greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining or increasing climate resilience, water quality and quantity, human well-being, and biodiversity.

Examples include practices such as:

  • Urban tree canopy expansion;

  • Protection of drinking watersheds;

  • Wetland and riparian restoration;

  • Improved agricultural practices, including: cover crop planting; rotational grazing; no till and reduced tillage;

  • Coastal community protection from sea-level rise, storm surge;

  • Lengthened logging rotations for increased carbon storage and timber yield;


Why should Oregon support natural climate solutions?
These practices offer simple, proven solutions for both reducing the future impacts of climate change and confronting the impacts communities and land managers are already contending with, including drought, heatwaves, flooding, and wildfire.

This legislative session, Beyond Toxics is a part of a coalition advocating for passage of SB 530. SB 530 supports the viability of Oregon’s forest owners, farmers, and ranchers by investing in natural climate solutions (NCS).

What will this bill actually do?
 

  • Position the state to leverage federal funding and private investments in natural climate solutions on natural and working lands;

  • Create a source of state funding for voluntary actions to remove climate pollution from the atmosphere and store it in natural and working lands;

  • Fund and direct state agencies to provide incentives and technical support to forest owners, farmers, and ranchers to implement natural climate solutions on natural and working lands; and

  • Invest in a comprehensive Oregon natural and working lands inventory and study opportunities for workforce development and training.

Read the 2-page review of the bill:
Oregon’s Untapped Climate Solution: Support SB 530 (PDF)

 

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Dave Eisler (left) leads a group of students on a tour of his sustainably-managed resilient forest, Shady Creek Forest. Vist our Resilient Forestry Tours page to find out more.
 


Benefits of supporting natural climate solutions on Oregon’s natural and working lands
  

  • Leverage Significant Federal Resources for Oregon’s Communities
    Federal legislation including the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), upcoming 2023 Farm Bill, and potential passage of Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will provide significant federal funding opportunities (1) for natural climate solutions. To fully access these resources, Oregon will need to be ready ahead of funding deadlines with coordinated partnerships and a list of ready projects to initiate natural climate solutions and secure matching funds.

  • Achieve Oregon's Climate Goals
    Oregon is positioned as a national leader in low carbon energy, however it lags other states in implementing natural climate solutions. Carbon sequestration efforts must be scaled up in addition to Oregon’s established emissions reductions goals. This bill will support the State of Oregon in achieving the 2035 and 2050 carbon sequestration goals recommended by the Oregon Global Warming Commission.

  • Support Oregon's Forest, Farming, and Ranching Economies
    Oregon’s forest owners, farmers, and ranchers support numerous economies across the state. It’s time we repaid the favor by giving them the tools they need to confront and fight the threat of climate change.

  • Ensure Equitable Environmental Outcomes in the Face of Climate Change
    This legislation will provide additional resources for communities already experiencing the impacts of climate change firsthand. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the effects of climate change disproportionately fall on "underserved communities who are least able to prepare for, and recover from drought, heat waves, poor air quality, flooding, and other impacts." Providing additional resources for these communities should be a top priority for state legislators.

  • Protect and Enhance our Natural Resources
    Practices that enhance carbon storage and sequestration, such as cover crops and longer logging rotations can provide numerous additional co-benefits.


ALSO: Read our BRAND NEW 2023 Legislative Agenda page to learn more about the bills we are supporting and how you can take action to help us advocate for their passage!