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Presentation for the Massachusetts Sustainable Communities and Campuses Conference, March 29, 2019 in Cambridge, MA

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  1. 1. LAND – OUR MOST IMPORTANT CLIMATE SOLUTION March 29, 2019 Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs Bob O’Connor, Forests and Land Policy Director
  2. 2. TREE PLANTING FOR PUBLIC HEALTHAND SOCIAL JUSTICE IN A CHANGING CLIMATE 2 “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” ― Martin Luther
  3. 3. PLANTINGTREESTO IMPROVE HEALTH IN 14 CITIES  Two studies (NYC and U.K.) both found that significant reduction in asthma hospitalizations with 1-2 trees per acre  MA has 3 of 20 top “Asthma Capitals (Springfield #1, Boston #11, Worcester #12 – Metro areas include other cities)  Trees filter the air of harmful particulates (p.m. 2.5) and cool the neighborhoods during heat waves when ozone is formed  Louisville, KY planted a buffer btn a school and busy road and student health monitoring shows significant positive results and particulate pollution was reduced by 60% behind the tree filter.
  4. 4. GRANVILLE ST. BEFORETREE REMOVAL 11/3/20145 After tree removal
  6. 6. 5-10TREES PER ACRE...1% IN 8 YEARS 5-10% IN 30YEARS 7 Greening the Gateway Cities: Planting new trees in low-income neighborhoods in Gateway Cities. Goal of adding new tree canopy cover to 5- 10% of area of target neighborhoods
  7. 7. 150 Seasonal Planting Jobs Created; 20 Year- Round Forestry Jobs 8 DCR Crews 14 Cities total in Spring 2019 3 Contract Crews GGCP Provides Jobs and Training
  8. 8. A TREEWITHIN 50 FEET OF WHERE 20,000+ PEOPLE LIVE! 9 11/3/2014 Commonwealth of Massachusetts -- Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020: Tree Canopy Program
  9. 9. BROADENINGTHE CONSERVATION COMMUNITY  Working with human service, gardening, affordable housing and conservation partners to customize the program in each community…  New partnerships with Community Health Committees…
  10. 10. Correlation between land surface temperature and canopy cover in the 58 Hobo sensor sites Tree cover has evident cooling benefits in Chelsea with an average temperature decrease of 1.7°F in the summer season (June-August) based on the 47 thermal sensor observations Spatial analysis from Landsat-8 images also shows lower land surface temperatures with increasing tree canopy cover.
  11. 11. MA FOREST PROGRAMS AND RESOURCES  Continuous Forest Inventory plots on state and water supply forests (415,000 acres)  Working Forest Initiative – Stewardship Plans, “Foresters for the Birds” plans, FSC Group Certification, Estate Planning  Harvard Forest’s “Changes to the Land” – 2013 analysis of forest, land use carbon storage and climate change scenarios (varied development, conservation, forestry and agriculture practices)
  12. 12. DCRWORKING FOREST INITIATIVE  DCR partners with FLT, MGLCT, MAS and UMass  1,596 landowners with 152,073 enroll in Forest Stewardship with plans and 81% also join Chapter 61 (Forest Current Use Law)  Land trusts, colleges, sportsmen clubs etc. have also received plans  87 towns with 44,367 acres have also received forest stewardship plans  11 towns have received stewardship grants  Survey with 450 responses showed that owners spent average of $2,200 to implement plans and 40% of owners are trying to conserve their woods by contacting land staff
  13. 13. -3.0 -2.0 -1.0 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 MTCO₂e/ac/yr SURVIVOR REVERSION LIVE INGROWTH MORTALITY HARVEST CHANGES IN ABOVE GROUND LIVE CARBON STOCKS ON STATE FOREST LAND Introduction Quantification review DCR forest carbon stocks Factors affecting stocks DSPR system; forested land, 1960 - 2017= sample year
  14. 14.  Historical estimate of net change (Above Ground Live MTCO₂e/yr): SUMMARY OF CARBON STOCKS ON STATE FOREST LAND 1960 - 1965 486,235 1965 - 1980 604,700 1980 - 2000 477,919 2000 - 2017 204,112 Introduction Quantification review DCR forest carbon stocks Factors affecting stocks
  15. 15. HEALTHY SOILS PLAN  Improving soils stores carbon, adds fertility, reduces costs and improves drought response  20 public meetings to educate and collect input into the plan  Working Group to develop the plan for agriculture, forest and lawns  Completion in summer, 2020  MA forest growth currently absorbs about 16% of our collective emissions – soils can add to this!
  16. 16. SUSTAINABLE COLLEGE CAMPUSES  MA colleges own 15,000 acres of land serving 450,000 students  50% of land in “top ten”: BU, Harvard,Amherst, Northeastern, UMass Amherst, Hampshire, UMass Dartmouth, Stonehill, andTufts  ALPINE (Academics for Land Protection in New England) – focuses on land conservation – forums to connect land conservation to college programs and lands
  17. 17. MA RESILIENT LANDS INITIATIVE  A statewide vision for land conservation and stewardship updating our 2004 plan  Looking at all our natural resources with a diverse work group focusing on farms, forest, urban open space, public health and safety, water supply, economic benefits, and outdoor recreation  Focusing on how land can improve climate resilience for people and nature  A year-long effort with public workshops for each topic prior to work group policy discussions  A ten-year initiative to link the vision to implementation
  18. 18. A NEW MODELTOVALUE LAND FOR CLIMATE RESILIENCE FOR PEOPLE  A user-friendly, science- based GIS model to rate land projects (conservation or restoration) for climate resilience for people  Development just starting with Dr.Timothy Randhir of UMass, Amherst
  19. 19. COMMUNITIES FOR A SUSTAINABLE CLIMATE Communities and developers would get incentives for new or infill development and projects for land carbon storage. New proposed incentive program for no net loss of carbon from open lands, encouraging smart growth and climate resilience.
  21. 21. LAND COVER