We’re saving the land that matters most by identifying and protecting climate-resilient properties that benefit people, wildlife, landscapes and economies.
Worldwide, the conservation community is grappling with the challenge of ensuring that plants and animals have the ability to adapt to climate change. This capacity is essential for their — and our — long-term survival. The impacts of climate change, combined with development pressures, are leading to the fragmentation of habitats that provide species with optimal conditions for survival.
What’s at stake?
A recent study indicated that habitats around the world — forests, wetlands and grasslands — have lost as much as 75 percent of their biodiversity, gravely imperiling the health of the world’s ecosystem.
What we’re doing
To address threats to the globally important biological richness and ecological function of the Hudson River Valley — and to safeguard the region’s resilience in the face of climate change — Scenic Hudson designed the Hudson Valley Conservation Strategy (HVCS).
Incorporating the most current and rigorous regional climate-resilience and natural resource data generated by non-profit, state agency and academic partners, it identifies and prioritizes the most efficient combinations of potential land conservation projects that will achieve targets in three categories: biodiversity, climate resilience and landscape connectivity. Additionally, data from Scenic Hudson’s Foodshed Conservation Plan was overlaid to identify and prioritize productive farmland.
In all, the strategy highlights 760,000 acres in the 11 counties of the Hudson Valley region that represent the most efficient potential conservation investments for achieving a resilient, functional and productive landscape.
The HVCS, which was designed as a decision support tool for Scenic Hudson and its conservation partners, promises to optimize the conservation value of open space investments, and it creates a strategic framework for conservation that supports the diverse missions of individual land trusts and land protection agencies while aligning their investments for the greatest collective impact.