55 results for author: Kelsey Everett


Signs of Hope (Part 2)

In part two of our "signs of hope" Lightning Updates, we share more news from this spring. Over the past few months, an estimated two to three billion (yes, billion) birds migrated into and through the United States following long-traveled routes. The Chesapeake Bay watershed sits along the "Atlantic flyway" and supports large numbers of these birds during migration. Few migratory species in north America are more spectacular than the many types of warblers -- tiny birds decked out in the flashiest of breeding plumage in spring. How tiny? Most species are only 4-5 inches long and weigh 0.3 ounces -- the weight of two nickels. Yet, they fly ...

Signs of Hope (Part 1)

We have shared some global news in recent weeks that, when taken together, can become a bit disheartening -- the climate crisis, warnings of the threat of mass extinctions, the calls for immediate action.Conservationists -- and all people -- must keep hope. And so we will take a few of our Lightning Updates to share some signs of hope, observed recently by some of us. Many here in the Chesapeake region witness the annual winter influx of Snow Geese, a true spectacle of nature. These beautiful birds spend their winters around the Delmarva area at places we conserve, like Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. It's easy to forget, though, ...

Language (and Coverage) Matters

Journalists are reevaluating the language they use and the coverage they provide for reporting on the Earth's heating climate. In an April article published in both the Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation, Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope write "the media are complacent while the world burns." They describe how, despite consistent warnings from scientists for decades, climate change -- its causes, impacts, and solutions -- has generally been poorly covered. The result is a lost decade or two of collective action. But the authors also describe an initiative to address this, beginning with the #CoveringClimateNow conference at Columbia ...

An Urgent Call to Action

The urgency of conservation has hit the news in recent weeks, from front pages of newspapers to television networks and social media. And the stories have been alarming, driven by the May 6 release of a new authoritative report on the state of the earth's biodiversity by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The distinguished scientist Tom Lovejoy, who is often referred to as the "Godfather of Biodiversity" after coining the term in 1980, writes about this challenge in a compelling and concise article in Science Advances. It's an accessible, clear and recommended read. Lovejoy writes: "A ...

A Compelling Example of Place-based Planning

"Place shapes us. Place defines us. Place forms our identities, attitudes, and relationships. Place matters." So concludes the new and compelling comprehensive plan for Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. County comprehensive plans are probably often described as dense, policy-laden, and generally not "a good read." Lancaster County is upending that perception with its recently completed plan Places2040. As Countywide Planning Director Scott Standish put it "you should be able to read this plan in twenty minutes and fully grasp where we're trying to go." And it works.So what stands out? Well for one thing, over 8,000 people were engaged and involved ...

Exploring Private Capital Investment in Conservation

Limitations to public and philanthropic funding, coupled with a range of threats to our environment, compounded by climate change, have led to much excitement and speculation about the potential for private sources of financing to engage in environmental conservation and restoration. The concept of private, profit-seeking investment in conservation is not new, but it is also not a particularly mature space. One of the key unanswered questions is whether environmental outcomes can be achieved alongside market-rate or below market-rate financial returns for investors? If so, it would need to happen on a large scale – billions of dollars in a place ...

Protect Thirty Percent by 2030

With every passing month, there is mounting concern about the need for protecting more of the vital ecosystems on which our quality of life depends. Edward O. Wilson's Pulitzer Prize winning book Half Earth started serious discussions in 2016 about protecting half the planet to maintain biodiversity. Since then, study after study--from climate change impacts to crashing insect populations--points to a need for urgency. Last month a group of scientists published a new study in Science Advances -- “A Global Deal For Nature: Guiding principles, milestones, and targets.” The paper sets out the scientific rationale and approach for protecting ...

Agrihoods and more. Blending Farming and Real Estate Development

There are all sorts of factors influencing agriculture these days -- at many different levels. One is certainly the increase in demand for locally sourced food. It's worth visiting an Urban Land Institute report we missed when it came out in 2016 -- Cultivating Development: Trends and Opportunities at the Intersection of Food and Real Estate. The report cites USDA statistics on "local food" sales which grew from $5 billion in 2008 to $12 billion in 2014 and were expected to hit $20 billion by this year. There were five times as many farmers markets in the US in 2016 as there were in 1994. And the number of food hubs -- "local centers that connect ...

President Signs Major Public Lands Bill

On Tuesday, March 12, President Trump signed into law S.47, the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, in an Oval Office ceremony surrounded by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. The bill was made up of more than 100 individual bills introduced by 50 Senators and several House members. The Act, passed overwhelmingly by the Senate and the House in recent weeks, has been touted as the most significant piece of conservation legislation in many years. The Chesapeake watershed is one of the beneficiaries of the Act, through designation of the new Susquehanna National Heritage Area in Pennsylvania's York and Lancaster ...

Communicating About Conservation Values

Land trusts and conservationists gathered last week in Virginia to work on communications and messaging strategies for talking about land protection. Participants explored a narrative around which unified and tailored messaging can be built, learned the formula for effective messaging, and practiced message development. This was the second in a series of state-wide training sessions designed to facilitate more effective communications supporting land conservation. It was convened by Virginia's United Land Trusts and organized in collaboration with the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership and Spitfire Strategies. The Partnership engaged Spitfire ...