Document / Report / White Paper

Climate Change Communications for Land Trusts Final Report

Posted 2018
Land Trust Alliance, Open Space Institute
Water Words the Work
About This Report / White Paper

In the face of rising temperatures and changing weather patterns, land trusts are reevaluating their roles and re-prioritizing their approaches to land protection. Among scientists, it is settled science that climate change is occurring, but among the public, it is a different story. Most surveys find that a substantial minority of the population, including many rural landowners, remain unconvinced or even hostile to the concept. And even when a landowner or donor does accept that climate change is occurring, that still may not be a compelling reason for them to support the work of the local land trust.

The lack of public consensus presents a challenge to land trusts as they explain their mission and try to involve the community in the work. Should they include climate change information in their public messages, and if so, how?

With this project, the Land Trust Alliance and the Open Space Institute engaged Water Words That Work, LLC to seek answers on how land trusts can best integrate climate change into their outreach. Some of the reasons land trusts may wish to invoke climate change include:

  • Attracting landowners into their easement and related programs

  • Working with local planning authorities on conservation and watershed management plans

  • Recruiting volunteers

  • Fundraising