Resources First Foundation’s work including the agricultural climate change initiative is national in scope. Each element of the project is designed to appeal to and support farmers nationally. With over 71% of U.S. land in private ownership, the greatest opportunity to positively impact and slow factors affecting climate change comes from educating and working with the private landowner to develop conservation easements and establish other conservation stewardship initiatives on their land.
Much of this land, approximately 960 million acres, is in agricultural production. Farmers are among the most drastically impacted by climate change as we witnessed the impact of the drought and heat on U.S. farm production in 2012. Conversely agricultural production accounts for nearly one-third of greenhouse gas emissions globally. According to Jessica Owley of SUNY Buffalo Law School, flexible conservation easements present a viable and attractive method of land protection for addressing climate change issues.