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Climate- Smart Agriculture & Forestry Working Group Meeting - Shared screen with speaker view
Jason White
23:29
Jason White, Director, CT Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES). Working Group Member
Hannah Reichle
23:32
Hannah Reichle - MetroCOG Regional Planner
Lori Brown CTLCV
23:44
Lori Brown, Executive Director, CT League of Conservation Voters
Chelsea Gazillo WLA/AFT
23:49
Chelsea Gazillo, Working Lands Alliance/American Farmland Trust - Working Group Member
Eric Hammerling, CFPA
23:57
Hi Everyone, Eric Hammerling, Executive Director, Connecticut Forest & Park Association, WG Member
Juliet Cain
24:07
Juliet Cain, Chair Darien Pollinator Pathway
Joan Nichols
24:10
Joan Nichols, Executive Director, CT Farm Bureau Association, Member
Lilian Ruiz
24:10
Lilian Ruiz, Council on Soil and Water Conservation, group member.
Anna Shugrue
24:18
Anna Shugrue - NECCOG Regional Planner, working group member
kip kolesinskas
24:34
Kip Kolesinskas, Co-Chair Working lands Alliance, Conservation consultant
Amanda Fargo-Johnson
24:37
Amanda Fargo-Johnson, CT Resource Conservation & Development - working group member
Jamie Pottern, American Farmland Trust
24:54
Jamie Pottern, American Farmland Trust
Kayleigh Royston
25:06
Kayleigh Royston, Ph.D. -Connecticut Department of Agriculture
Andrea Urbano, CT DEEP Forestry
25:14
Andrea Urbano, CT DEEP Division of Forestry Private and Municipal Lands Unit, WG member
Rebecca French
25:46
Rebecca French, Director Office of Climate Planning, CT Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection - assisting with working group coordination for the GC3.
Robert Fahey
27:13
Robert Fahey, Associate Professor, University of Connecticut, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
Sarah Watson, CT DEEP Office of Climate Planning - DEEP Liaison
27:21
Sarah Watson, Senior Analyst in Office of Climate Planning, CT DEEP. DEEP Liaison for the Working Group.
Rebecca French
27:25
For working group members of Climate Smart Agriculture & Forestry - please introduce yourself in the chat
Lisa Hayden
27:51
Lisa Hayden, Outreach Manager, New England Forestry Foundation
Rebecca French
30:12
Agenda for today's meeting: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DEEP/climatechange/GC3/GC3-2022-agendas-and-minutes/GC3_Climate-Smart-Agriculture_Forestry-Agenda-090122.pdf
Frank Cervo - CT DEEP Forestry
31:56
Frank Cervo (he/his), Service Forester, DEEP Forestry, Private & Municipal Lands
Michael Wrobel
32:23
Michael Wrobel
Hallie Mertzger4
33:39
There seems to be growing resistance to using wood products in place of high carbon-emitting substances such as concrete, steel, and plastic. How should the state respond?
Michael Wrobel
33:42
Michael Wrobel President of the Connecticut Greenhouse Growers Association
Sarah Watson, CT DEEP Office of Climate Planning - DEEP Liaison
37:24
For those joining late, if you are a working group member, please introduce yourself in the chat. There will be a public comment period toward the end of this meeting and you can sign up to speak by sending me a direct message.
Mark Ashton
38:01
Mark Ashton - Yale
David Irvin
38:57
David Irvin, I have been a forester for 32 years, 26 of those years with the DEEP Forestry Division, responsible for management of a few state forests in Western Connecticut.
Bryan Hurlburt
42:45
For everyone's awareness, Jim Hyde is USDA NRCS's representative to this Working Group. He had a prior commitment, but as you can see, it is critically important that NRCS plays a role in any state effort.
Andrea Urbano, CT DEEP Forestry
43:26
can you speak to why the definition of climate smart agriculture includes sequestering carbon and not storing carbon? Is there a distinction is climate smart agricultural practices that enhance sequestration versus increase carbon storage?
Latha Swamy, City of New Haven
44:48
Latha Swamy, Director of Food & Agriculture Policy for the City of New Haven (which is a unique municipal position - only ~20 similar positions exist in the country).
Rebecca French
46:38
All slides and a recording of the meeting will be available here: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Climate-Change/GC3/Working-Group-Meetings-2022
Chelsea Gazillo WLA/AFT
47:20
https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/PA_NRCSConsumption/download?cid=nrcseprd1905826&ext=pdf
Lilian Ruiz
49:02
Great presentation Chelsea, great summary of such a complex scenario. Looking forward to the work ahead.
Kat Morris | IIJA Fellow | she/her
50:05
what is the difference between the two?
Chelsea Gazillo WLA/AFT
50:26
https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/PA_NRCSConsumption/download?cid=nrcseprd1905826&ext=pdf
Lilian Ruiz
50:34
Storing can be just "retaining"
Amy B. Paterson - CLCC
50:54
Will there be information presented for the record on threats to forestland?
Ann Frank Zitkus
51:26
I am advocating for Ecosystem Service Payments for Landowners for services provided by their living land: carbon storage; water retention and purification; clean air creation and purification, also biodiversity preservation, and more. Our living forests are a wealth that needs to have a monetary value placed on their living services. Tools measuring carbon storage must be made available.DEEP should increase reserves of forest preserved to become Old Growth (Old Forest Management) to maximize carbon storage and sequestration, ecosystem services, and biodiversity preservation.Agriculture: promote Silvopasturalism and incorporating trees throughout agriculture practicesAbout construction: less tear-downs; more renovations, more repurposing, more recycling of wood materials. Utilize low-carbon concrete that is available now, promote zero-emissions concrete creation. Thank you
Frank Cervo - CT DEEP Forestry
52:04
Carbon sequestration is the process by which carbon is removed from the atmosphere, whereas carbon storage is the process by which carbon is held somewhere other than in the atmosphere
Andrea Urbano, CT DEEP Forestry
52:12
good question, Kat! Carbon sequestration is the process of taking C out of the atmosphere. in a vegetative system, this occurs through/by photosynthesis. Carbon storage refers to the amount of carbon retained in a specific carbon pool
Kat Morris | IIJA Fellow | she/her
52:32
thank you!
Chelsea Gazillo WLA/AFT
52:44
Here is also WLA's press release on the passage of the budget: https://workinglandsalliance.org/working-lands-alliance-a-project-of-the-american-farmland-trust-statement-on-the-passage-of-connecticuts-adjustments-for-the-2023-biennium-budget/
Chelsea Gazillo WLA/AFT
53:50
I will add that we used the USDA-NRCS definition of climate-smart ag and forestry in our legislation this year but it does not mean we could not go back and create a state definition of climate-smart ag and forestry
Kat Morris | IIJA Fellow | she/her
55:18
is this working group working on policy and non-policy ways to address barriers for small urban farms
Chelsea Gazillo WLA/AFT
57:24
this working group could discuss those barriers and come up with recommendations.
Amanda Fargo-Johnson
59:24
We would be in favor of a state definition on climate smart agriculture so that energy resiliency issues are not excluded.
David Irvin
01:01:09
The majority of our state forests are designated areas that will not be a part of active management, as part of the forest inventory and management plan development process. Having professional foresters on the ground to make these decisions helps DEEP to choose the right areas to set aside and forest stands that are healthy and beneficial for long-term storage, rather than decision-making that could be more arbitrary. But management of forests is an important part of carbon sequestering and storage, and DEEP has to responsibly manage for declining ecosystems and more rare wildlife habitat, as well as provide a supply of sustainable wood for forest products. Young forests continue to be greatly lacking in our state and these other objectives cannot be ignored.
Chelsea Gazillo WLA/AFT
01:01:56
all good questions, Eric!
Luke Anderson (they/them) - 350CT & UVM Food Systems MS Program
01:02:57
I appreciated Chelsea’s acknowledgment that many of the named practices to support healthy soil are agroecological practices that have been used by Indigenous peoples on these lands for millennia. Given the overlap of Indigenous justice and food sovereignty and climate resilient agriculture, I’d be interested to hear from Commissioner Hurlburt’s presentation about what efforts if any have been taken to make room for Indigenous leadership in the push for climate smart ag in our state and/or what resources might be dedicated to helping our state’s Indigenous populations re-establish traditional growing practices.
Ann Frank Zitkus
01:04:58
Ecosystem Service Payments would help landowners get an income by keeping their land and forests in natural condition instead of selling for development.DEEP should have a separate division of Forest Ecology that prioritizes forests for their Natural Processes and Ecosystem Services, keeps forests living to become Old Growth.
Kat Morris | IIJA Fellow | she/her
01:05:29
when might the next meeting be?
Joan Nichols CT Farm Bureau
01:06:05
Related to PA 490...the Open Space classification has significant value but is underutilized because it is a municipal option of which only about 45 towns have adopted. Welcome furthering the discussion on 490.
Kat Morris | IIJA Fellow | she/her
01:06:06
can timing consider the work hours of farmers
Ann Frank Zitkus
01:06:29
Andrea Urbano has great observations. PA 490 should be enhanced to give state-funded credits or payments to landowners, not just reduce the amount of taxes they pay.
Rebecca French
01:06:59
@kat and everyone. Office of Climate Planning will send out meeting invites to working group members and all meetings will be noticed to the public in the Climate Solutions newsletter and on the Secretary of State website per state requirements.
Rebecca French
01:08:01
Sign up (https://confirmsubscription.com/h/j/19E73F2E0479003B) for the Climate Solutions Newsletter. Check the Climate Solutions box to receive climate change and GC3 news, information, and updates.
David Irvin
01:10:33
Foresters in DEEP are as close to forest ecologists that I am aware of. Designation and managing old forestland management areas are a part of the program of management of these units of state forest. This may include inaccessible and inoperable areas, those with special unique character, and any areas that show specific old growth character or are likely to develop such. We are all getting trained both in "old growth" and carbon storage and sequestration on a regular basis today.
Amy B. Paterson - CLCC
01:11:09
Thanks, Eric! For those who are interested reports from the sub-groups of the GC3 Working and Natural Lands Working Group are available here: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Climate-Change/GC3/GC3-Working-group-reports
Eric Hammerling, CFPA
01:11:55
PRFCT Future Report: https://www.ctwoodlands.org/sites/default/files//FINAL%20PRFCT%20Future%20Working%20Group%20Recommendations%2012.14.21.pdf
Ann Frank Zitkus
01:12:24
There is an important misunderstanding about carbon sequestration often stated. However, most scientists agree that carbon sequestration is generally understandable as a function of the amount of leaves in the forest. Thus old forests have far higher sequestration and storage than new forests or scrub shrub.
Sarah Watson, CT DEEP Office of Climate Planning - DEEP Liaison
01:12:53
Link to Executive Order 21-3 site: https://portal.ct.gov/ConnecticutClimateAction/Executive-Order/Executive-Order-No-21-3
Rebecca French, CT DEEP, Climate Planning
01:14:11
Here is the Governor's Council on Climate Change recommendations from the 2020 working group process: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DEEP/climatechange/GC3/GC3_Phase1_Report_Jan2021.pdf
Andrea Urbano, CT DEEP Forestry
01:15:15
Thank you Ann. I like your idea of ecosystem service payments. It's important to find ways to make climate smart practices more feasible for landowners with the goal of keeping our farms and forests in tact. As David mentioned, DEEP Forestry does employ passive management (makes informed decisions based on forestry data and other considerations to designate forested acreage to function as reserves/controls/no harvested timber)- quite a bit to my understanding . But active forest management is also critical in this era of change to promote forest resilience, climate change mitigation benefits, and has been proven effective in expediting old-growth forest conditions. To a point made earlier, active forestry can also play a critical role in the States' investment in renewable resources. Locally sourced wood is renewable and sustainable :)
David Irvin
01:18:01
There is certainly no one size fits all prescription for forest land that is best for carbon. It is an oversimplification. A diverse forest that includes different age classes and does not exclude species and ecosystems that are disturbance-dependent is best for a healthy forest environment and climate change mitigation. This is something that forest professional have to balance and keep in mind at all times.
Andrea Urbano, CT DEEP Forestry
01:18:07
Ann, since photosynthesis (the process through which carbon is sequestered) occurs through foliage, it is important to have healthy tree crowns and good live crown ratios. However carbon sequestration rates are actually greatest in younger forests, as this is when trees and vegetation grow most rapidly Carbon storage rates tend be greatest in older forests. This is because roughly 50% of a tree's wood/biomass is carbon.
Amy B. Paterson - CLCC
01:19:26
I need to drop off early to attend an event (and here's public congrats to DEEP and partners on the Whip-Poor-Will Woods Forest Legacy Program project!) Thanks for this opportunity. I look forward to the next meeting.
Ann Frank Zitkus
01:23:23
Andrea, the rate of growth of a small tree is of course fast, but the amount of growth of large trees is so much larger. So this equates to greater sequestration in the larger growing tree. But I very much appreciate your great point about supporting landowners by giving them an incentive to keep their land providing ecosystem services.
Hallie Mertzger4
01:24:52
Is there a point at which tree growth stops and senescence begins? Presumably it would depend on species and local habitat conditions.
Kat Morris | IIJA Fellow | she/her
01:26:22
is there a request minimum
Kat Morris | IIJA Fellow | she/her
01:26:30
maximum
Kat Morris | IIJA Fellow | she/her
01:27:28
who is the intended prime candidate for successful application
David Irvin
01:27:56
Ann, be sure to keep in mind that a larger tree is going to certainly sequester more than a tiny sapling, but what you would really be comparing is space, not individual trees. There are FAR more small trees per acre than large older growth trees. So it's not a one to one comparison. You may have a space with a few old trees, but three times as many pole-size trees, and hundreds of saplings. It is important to maintain a healthy and diverse forest across the landscape with older forests for long-term storage (as long as they are healthy and naturally long-lived tree species), and younger forests for sequestration.
Frank Cervo - CT DEEP Forestry
01:27:56
There are many, many factors which influence forest carbon sequestration and storage rates. We, as a working group, will consider all of these things in our recommendations and actions going forward. Thank you, Ann, for your comments.
Kat Morris | IIJA Fellow | she/her
01:28:14
will they have to be legally declared a non-profit
Kat Morris | IIJA Fellow | she/her
01:28:39
or would a fiscal sponsor suffice
Ann Frank Zitkus
01:30:03
In a living forest, as an old tree declines, new growth is supported and promoted. And new habitat is provided. Old Growth forest in Connecticut is almost non-existent; we should provide for much more forest to be reserved to become Old Growth.
Lisa Hayden
01:30:04
Are only active agricultural landowners eligible for these programs? Many woodland owners do not have farmland on their property or are actively managing their land for timber - Is there some part of the program they would be eligible for?
Lisa Hayden
01:31:06
Sorry - Many owners are not actively managing their forest for timber... so would they be included?
kip kolesinskas
01:31:08
Forest landowners can and do participate in NRCS conservation programs. There may be some practices that they currently don't cover
Eric Hammerling, CFPA
01:31:11
Would "establish equipment sharing programs" funding include actual purchases of equipment? And could it include equipment that might help improve forestry practices as Lisa H mentioned?
David Irvin
01:34:19
I agree, Ann! But I believe I may have failed to communicate that DEEP is doing that. It must be done with proper on the ground analysis of resources. Most of our forests in Connecticut average 100-120 years of age at this time and are well on their way to that potential. Feel free to reach out directly to our Division, including myself personally, if you wish, david.irvin@ct.gov, as a starting point. It may be interesting to even plan a field visit together to discuss the many thoughts and views we certainly share in common.
Kat Morris | IIJA Fellow | she/her
01:35:53
microgrants are always useful if there could be a third, smaller category
Luke Anderson (they/them) - 350CT & UVM Food Systems MS Program
01:38:09
I want to reiterate my question from earlier about whether there’s been any effort to hold space for leadership and allocate resources for the Indigenous populations of our state
Kat Morris | IIJA Fellow | she/her
01:38:37
+++
Rebecca French, CT DEEP, Climate Planning
01:40:47
We encourage working group members to continue posting comments and questions in the chat in the interest of time and we can follow up after the meeting.
Leigh Whittinghill
01:47:00
UConn was mentioned specifically under one of the programs. I am wondering what types of projects you envision coming out of UConn (extension vs research) and if the language specifically states UConn or includes other research and outreach institutions?
Jason White, CAES
01:49:25
I have to hop off for another meeting
Amanda Fargo-Johnson
01:51:42
Due to timing today where should we send our comments and suggestions on this topic?
Luke Anderson (they/them) - 350CT & UVM Food Systems MS Program
01:51:51
Market regulations to increase accessibility of non-hybridized seed and resources to help farmers practice seed saving so that seeds can actually adapt over time to the changing climate of our region is also critical to climate-smart ag, would reduce costs to farmers in the long run (as would other agroecological practices to reduce farmers’ dependencies on ag corporations for new farm inputs), and would help promote biodiversity of the region, one of the planetary boundaries we’re accelerating past largely as a result of the agricultural practices of our food system. Prioritizing leadership of Indigenous seed keepers in our state and region in doing this is vital too since Indigenous populations protect 80% of the world’s biodiversity and in CT in particular many towns pushed their communities off their lands under settlers’ rationale that they weren’t using land as “efficiently” as the industrial-style practices that have proliferated and decimated ecologies since.
kip kolesinskas
01:52:13
I would certainly include the ag experiment station in all aspects of this initiative, proposals, implementation.
Alanis Allen,DEEP Office of Climate Planning
01:52:14
Send comments to DEEP.ClimateChange@ct.gov
Amanda Fargo-Johnson
01:52:55
Thanks, I need to jump off. I'll follow up
Ann Frank Zitkus
01:54:22
Luke Anderson has an important message; we can and should include indigenous people and learn from indigenous peoples' practices.
Luke Anderson (they/them) - 350CT & UVM Food Systems MS Program
01:55:44
I also want to call attention to the fact that transitions to fossil gas, biofuels, and other carbon and other GHG-emitting energy sources are not the “climate smart” measures they were presented to be. Clean fossil fuels are a myth.
Joan Nichols CT Farm Bureau
01:56:48
Can there be a component similar to the NE SARE grants whereby the outcome and benefit of the projects must be shared with other producers?
Lilian Ruiz
01:57:29
I do not mean to concentrate the funds- but to concentrate the ACTIONS- get a good topic/action/effort and apply widely on all landscapes.
Chelsea Gazillo WLA/AFT
01:57:50
soil and water conservation districts
Kat Morris | IIJA Fellow | she/her
01:57:59
noting Luke's comment on Indigenous leadership rather than public comment participation.
Luke Anderson (they/them) - 350CT & UVM Food Systems MS Program
01:58:13
^
Andrea Urbano, CT DEEP Forestry
01:58:42
It would behoove us to integrate forestry practices, or ensure at least that we target forest landowners in our marketing, etc. efforts to make applicants clearly aware that this applies to and benefits forest landowners.
Eric Hammerling, CFPA
01:59:09
Do we have a next meeting date?
Sarah Watson, CT DEEP Office of Climate Planning - DEEP Liaison
01:59:32
Send comments to DEEP.ClimateChange@ct.gov
kip kolesinskas
01:59:50
hope the presentations will be posted soon
Rebecca French, CT DEEP, Climate Planning
02:00:14
We will send presentations to all attendees/registrants ASAP
Scott Rogers
02:00:52
Need to run. Thanks for the information.
Luke Anderson (they/them) - 350CT & UVM Food Systems MS Program
02:01:47
Appreciate it. Thanks!
Ann Frank Zitkus
02:03:48
who should we send agenda suggestions to?
Alanis Allen,DEEP Office of Climate Planning
02:04:05
DEEP.ClimateChange@ct.gov
Joan Nichols CT Farm Bureau
02:04:08
Thank you! Good meeting and great presentations.
Lilian Ruiz
02:04:35
Wonderful meeting. Thank you.
Cheryl Cappiali
02:04:36
Thanks everyone. Great meeting
Hallie Mertzger4
02:04:50
Thanks!
Michael Wrobel
02:05:02
thank you excellent meeting!
Andrea Urbano, CT DEEP Forestry
02:05:06
Thank you all!
Chelsea Gazillo WLA/AFT
02:05:07
thanks everyone!