The purpose of the Avoided Grassland Conversion Carbon Offset Pilot Program is to facilitate the permanent protection of grasslands by providing a scalable easement funding model based on anticipated future carbon revenues. The program will also demonstrate how eligible land trusts with grassland carbon project opportunities that are too small on their own can combine their efforts with other land trusts to develop economically feasible projects through the voluntary carbon offset market. The Land Trust Alliance and The Climate Trust have established a collaboration to design and implement this pilot program.

The Pilot Program will focus on developing carbon projects on eligible grasslands across the US for the voluntary carbon offset market. Carbon offsets represent verifiable reductions in greenhouse gases (GHGs) from eligible project activities. The carbon offsets are expected to be sold in the voluntary carbon offset market with demand provided primarily by corporations motivated by corporate social responsibility. Demand for these offsets has increased in recent years as corporations have adopted or increased the stringency of their carbon reduction commitments. The focus of this effort will be to target those companies that demand offsets as part of their carbon reduction strategy. Eligible offset-generating activities relevant to land trusts include avoided grassland conversion projects that adhere to a protocol developed by a third-party offset project certification standard.

Avoided grassland conversion projects prevent emissions of greenhouse gases by conserving belowground soil carbon stocks by placing perpetual conservation easements on an eligible project area that prevents tillage and crop cultivation. The overarching goals of avoided grassland conversion projects are generally aligned with land trusts’ stewardship and management goals.

Learn more about the program

Reach out

To learn more, please contact the primary project managers for the Avoided Grassland Conversion Offset Pilot Program:

Erin Heskett

Vice President of Conservation Initiatives, Land Trust Alliance

eheskett@lta.org | 269-929-8427

Travis Croft

Sr Project Analyst, The Climate Trust

tcroft@climatetrust.org | 503-238-1915x216