The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just released a report assessing the feasibility of incorporating climate change impacts into planning and decision-making for land preservation efforts by government agencies and nonprofit land trusts. 

The report reviewed existing decision-making processes for selected land protection programs and suggested strategies for better incorporating climate change into those processes.  These strategies include “new decision-support tools for advisory committees, promulgation of different land protection models, and educational outreach for elected officials.”  This report underscores the need for strategic (rather than opportunistic) selection of protected parcels and land preservation tools in order to create a “portfolio of climate adaptation options.”

This conclusion is consistent with findings in a recent report prepared for the Washington State Recreation Office, which concluded that permanent land preservation tools “give the state a portfolio of conservation equity, which can be retained or liquidated and re-invested as part of an overall adaptive management approach.”