California, Oregon, Washington, Hawai’i, Texas, Colorado

Participating Area

Range and pastureland in the Western US.

Project Type

Agricultural Land Management

Rangeland Conservation, United States

About the Project

In 2015 Terra was awarded a Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) from USDA-NRCS as a prime to a consortium of partners for the project entitled Creating Value for Producers and Impact Investors through Marketable GHG/Environmental Credits on Range/Pasture Lands. The overall objective of this project is to increase awareness and adoption of environmental markets and conservation among range and pasture land managers in six Western states and strengthen inter-organizational collaboration. This will be accomplished through the development and demonstration of a market-accepted protocol for the full suite of NRCS practices relevant to range/pasture lands, while assessing the opportunity of combining stacked environmental credits and facilitate new investment capital for range/pasture lands by establishing metrics to quantify impact and investment value. This protocol will focus on NRCS EQIP practices and the consortium of partners is determined to develop a protocol that truly works for farmers and ranchers on the ground: that implementation goals and data requirement are attainable and payment-for-success is achievable.

The strength of this project comes from working with diverse partners including Five Dot Land and Cattle Company, California Rangeland Trust (CRT), Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA), Carbon Cycle Institute (CCI), University of California-Davis Department of Plant Sciences, Climate Action Reserve (CAR), and Farmland Fund LP. Working with these partners, this project will increase awareness and adoption of GHG/environmental credit markets and conservation practices among a targeted, diverse and historically underserved group of range/pasture land managers.  This CIG will provide funding to create an efficient market-accepted protocol to generate GHG credits covering a diverse set of range/pasture land conservation management practices. Though these improved practices maybe implemented across many ranches and farms, the project will verify GHG credits for two to ten adopters in an aggregated project and develop at least one demonstration of stacking environmental credits such as water, species, and/or habitat, with GHG credits, which will truly improve the viability of GHG markets for range/pasture lands.  This project is facilitating new investment capital for the sector by establishing metrics to quantify impact and investment value and by pilot branding for sustainably produced range/pastureland, such as food and fiber.