Permanent land protection and strategic, incentive-based water conservation are unique and powerful tools to address climate change impacts and promote adaptation across a landscape. Southern Arizona’s natural infrastructure, its drought-adapted vegetation and hydrogeology is its greatest asset for a climate-resilient future. Through land and water transactions, the Trust is protecting the space, and time, required by natural systems as they adapt to the changing climate. Further, natural systems that remain intact and healthy are better able to support and sustain our human communities through the provision of ecosystem services. Critical now, these ecosystem services will become increasingly essential as climate change impacts intensify across our region.
In September the Trust received support from the Land Trust Alliance, the national association for land trusts, to plan climate-intentional land and water transactions that better enable Southern Arizona’s landscapes, and landowners, to adapt to extreme heat, persistent drought and flood events. This adaptation planning will be based in regional climate projections, particularly those impacts most relevant to the agricultural community, by University of Arizona’s Climate Assessment for the Southwest. The Trust is very grateful for these partnerships and excited to get to work!