Climate Conservation Solutions Initiative

The Climate Conservation Solutions Initiative aims to accelerate the pace of conservation in northern Wisconsin through raising awareness and support of natural solutions to our changing climate. Natural climate solutions include conservation and restoration of forests, wetlands, grasslands and shorelands. Land conservation is a tool that offers real hope. Land that is left in its natural state will help lessen climate related impacts and build resilience to weather extremes.


Warming winters and more severe storms already are impacting the northern forests, wetlands and lakes. Consider the future. What would the northwoods be like without maple syrup, wild rice, ice fishing, snowmobiling, working forests, calling loons, plentiful walleye and clean, clear waters? The northwoods’ economy, culture and identity are tied to its natural resources and recreational opportunities which are now threatened. Land conservation is a proven, nature-based solution to address the impacts of climate change. More land needs to be set aside today to leave a meaningful legacy for tomorrow.

Protected natural lands give back to us

Forests and wetlands help lessen the impacts of more frequent extreme storms by holding water where it falls, keeping our communities safer during flooding and droughts. By trapping and storing carbon, they reduce the concentration of the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere and ease the severity of climate change. Preserving forests and wetlands and the corridors between them help animals and plants adapt to increased variability in seasonal temperature and precipitation.

Maintaining natural lake and river shorelands will help keep our waters clean even as more and more precipitation falls in fast, heavy downpours. Trees, shrubs, native grasses and wildflowers absorb rain and block the flow of water off lawns and roadways. Without that line of defense, storm runoff would carry soil, fertilizers and other pollutants to waters. The excess nutrients would spur algae blooms, increase water temperatures and degrade water quality.

Learn more about the role of Forests

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Learn more about the role of wetlands

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Learn more about the role of natural shoreland

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Support our initiative

Take Action!

Our region is now considered a climate haven. As more people migrate north, the population will grow, putting stress on infrastructure and natural resources. We need to act now to accelerate the pace of land conservation. Offer your support to protect land in the northwoods. 


Become a contributing supporter or renew your support with a donation. Your gift will go toward our land protection programs that ultimately make our communities safer and more resilient in the face of climate change.


Conserve your land, or purchase land for the purpose of protecting it. Land conservation is critical to the stabilization of our climate and increasing climate resiliency. A sizable amount of privately owned land in the U.S. will be needed to maximize the potential of natural climate solutions — that's where land trusts come in.


Talk with your neighbors, local officials and representatives about changing practices and policies to better adapt to climate change. Check out the resources below, especially those that practice advocacy as a part of their mission.

Resources to learn more about the importance of protecting our waters:

NWLT is partnering with Gathering Waters and the Land Trust Alliance to demonstrate that land conservation is climate action. Learn about their climate programs and those of other organizations in Wisconsin and beyond.

Land Conservation is Climate Action Infographic
Click image to enlarge the infographic by Gathering Waters


Nature-based solutions can mitigate more than 1/3 of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and help keep global average temperature increases under 2 °C, a goal set by the Paris Climate Agreement to prevent the most severe and destructive climate changes. Permanently conserving healthy land is climate action that has immediate results. Restoration of unhealthy forests and wetlands will take many decades to achieve comparable results.


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