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Protecting Land And Storing Carbon: Nature Conservancy Taps A New Market For Conservation Projects

To improve habitat on Calavale Brook, first you have to drop some trees in the stream. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

To improve habitat on Calavale Brook, first you have to drop some trees in the stream. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

Nature Conservancy project in northern Vermont will store carbon to meet California’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. The group says proceeds from the sale of these “carbon credits” will pay for future land protection projects.

It’s no surprise that people who work for The Nature Conservancy would be very much into nature.

Jim Shallow, director of strategic conservation initiatives for the Vermont chapter, was describing the new forest project on Burnt Mountain. But he kept interrupting himself each time he heard a new bird song.

“I can’t get away from my bird background; a black throated green [warbler] is singing up here,” said Shallow, who used to work for Vermont Audubon. “And there’s a white throated sparrow, the core of its breeding habitat is in the Atlantic northern forest.”

The birds do provide an auditory example of a key goal for this project: It’s an ecological reserve that will help sustain wildlife in the rest of the region.

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