Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Natural and working lands (NWLs) provide many benefits to people, including storing greenhouse gases (GHGs), supporting biodiversity, and generating other ecosystem services. Management of NWLs can influence their condition and function and therefore the benefits they provide. This project surveys the synthesis literature to assess how different management actions on various types of NWLs affect biodiversity and GHG outcomes. This information can help to determine how to best manage these lands to contribute to both biodiversity and climate solutions in the United States.
These results are a starting point to assess how different forms of management on various types of NWLs contribute to or detract from biodiversity and GHG outcomes. Though this study’s scope was limited to an exploration of biodiversity and GHG benefits provided by NWLs, this process could be adapted to examine the effects of management on other important ecosystem services, as well as how management affects equitable distribution of those services. Additional quantitative synthesis is also needed to compare the magnitude of different management activities’ impacts on biodiversity and carbon and to better understand how the intensity of certain activities influences these outcomes.
This report is a collaboration between the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability and the Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont. This research was supported by the US Department of Agriculture, Office of Environmental Markets, under a cooperative agreement. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and should not be construed to represent any official USDA or US Government determination or policy.
For related work, please see Tracking the Benefits of Natural & Working Lands in the United States: Dataset Evaluation and Readiness Assessment.