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Audience sitting in a large chapel with a PowerPoint screen to the front and a group of panelists

Contact: Amy Blaymore Paterson, Executive Director
Telephone: (860) 825-5512
Email: abpaterson@ctconservation.org
Website: ctconservation.org

40th Annual Connecticut Land Conservation Conference:
Inspiring Action for Natural Climate Solutions

Middletown, CT, March 23, 2024 – The Connecticut Land Conservation Council (CLCC) proudly hosted its 40th annual Connecticut Land Conservation Conference at Wesleyan University this past weekend. The landmark event, Connecticut’s premier gathering for land conservation practitioners, attracted approximately 550 attendees from a broad spectrum of the state’s land conservation community, including representatives from land trusts, conservation groups, municipal commissions, state and federal agencies, students, and others passionate about conserving Connecticut’s natural landscapes.

The conference spotlighted the urgent need for natural climate solutions, with a compelling keynote address by Dr. Bronson Griscom, Vice President of Natural Climate Solutions at Conservation International. Dr. Griscom highlighted the critical role of land protection, restoration, and sustainable management in mitigating climate change.

Despite being one of the largest sectors for potential climate mitigation, natural climate solutions remain significantly under-financed, including in places like Connecticut.

Following the keynote, a panel discussion brought global concepts down to the local level. Panelists, including Dr. Mayra Rodríguez González from UConn Extension, Clan Mother Shoran Waupatukuay Piper of the Golden Hill Paugussett Tribe, Julia Rogers from Housatonic Valley Association, and Andrea Urbano from CT DEEP Forestry, along with moderator Aaron Lefland from CLCC, explored the myriad challenges and opportunities for leveraging natural climate solutions in Connecticut.

The conference also underscored CLCC’s ongoing advocacy for increased state resources and attention toward nature-based solutions. The wide array of workshops further emphasized practical training, networking, and information-sharing, covering vital conservation topics and strategies.

“This year’s conference not only marks four decades of commitment to land conservation in Connecticut but also serves as a catalyst for the necessary shift towards embracing and financing nature-based solutions,” said Amy Blaymore Paterson, CLCC’s Executive Director. “The insights shared by Dr. Griscom and our esteemed panelists illuminate the path forward and quantify the enormous potential of natural and working lands to address our current climate and biodiversity crises.”

CLCC extends its gratitude to the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and CT Public for leading sponsorship of the conference, alongside the support of more than 35 other organizations and 40 land trusts. The success of this event reflects the collective dedication to land conservation in Connecticut.

As planning for next year’s conference is underway, the CLCC encourages everyone to stay engaged through its website, which offers various programs, advocacy alerts, and further information on contributing to Connecticut’s land conservation efforts.

About the Connecticut Land Conservation Council

The Connecticut Land Conservation Council is the state’s leading advocate for land conservation, stewardship, and funding, working tirelessly to support land trusts, conservation organizations, and municipal land use leaders in their efforts to protect Connecticut’s diverse landscapes and environments for future generations.

CLCC’s mission is to elevate and strengthen land conservation in Connecticut.

CLCC’s vision is a future where every Connecticut community is supported and sustained by a diverse mix of conserved land, and land conservation is embraced as an essential community value.