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Working Lands Key to Affordable Energy and Climate Bill, Coalition Tells Lawmakers
Date:4/15/2010

National Coalition for Working Lands Calls for Investment in Conservation of the U.S. Forest, Farm and Ranch Landscape.

Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) April 15, 2010 -- As Senators Kerry, Graham and Lieberman finalize the text of their energy and climate legislation, a diverse coalition is calling on lawmakers to invest in productive U.S. forests, farms and ranch lands.

Such investment will conserve the vast landscapes that stabilize the climate while providing food, drinking water, wildlife habitat, renewable energy and sustainable jobs. It will also ensure an affordable and effective bill, says coalition leader Laurie Wayburn, president of the Pacific Forest Trust.

America’s forests, farms and ranch lands now offset nearly 20 percent of all domestic greenhouse gas pollution annually. Yet more than 2.2 million acres of natural and working lands are lost to development each year   —   an area greater than the state of Delaware. That land conversion process emits vast amounts of greenhouse gas pollution into the atmosphere. At the same time, it degrades or destroys the land’s ability to safely absorb and store emissions in the future.

“With the right type of investment, we can start conserving our working landscape while reducing the cost of implementing the energy and climate bill,” Wayburn said. “But to do that, we need to sustain the people and communities that depend on the land for their livelihoods. That’s why we’re urging the Senate to allocate $5 billion annually for working lands conservation in the bill.” '/>"/>

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