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Posts Tagged: working landscapes

To protect California ecosystem services, they must be valued

About 60% of California water flows from the state's forests, an invaluable ecosystem service.
The ecosystem services of landscapes in California are essential to the state's future, but many people take them for granted.

In addition to direct economic outputs, working landscapes – farms, rangelands, forests and fisheries, to name a few – sequester carbon, capture water, support wildlife, offer picturesque views and make space for hiking, skiing, boating and other recreational activities.

“We need to put a value to ecosystem services, from an economic standpoint, that incentivizes people who own and manage these landscapes so they can continue to manage them for everyone's benefit,” said Stephanie Larson, UC Cooperative Extension rangeland advisor in Sonoma County.

When ecosystem services have been monetized, proper compensation can be calculated, ensuring benefits like clean water, fresh air and a livable climate are protected for future generations.

In November, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources released a report at the California Economic Summit in Fresno on the value of California's working landscapes. The report determined the state's working landscapes generate $333 billion in annual sales and 1.5 million jobs. That number does not include ecosystem services.

UC ANR vice president Glenda Humiston (center) takes part in the discussion about valuing the state's ecosystem services.

“The value of ecosystem services is probably higher than the $333 billion direct economic contribution of working landscapes outlined in the report,” said Glenda Humiston, University of California vice president for agriculture and natural resources. Humiston is chair of the economic summit's working landscape task force. “The problem is, when we don't have that quantified, it's hard to make investments to make sure those ecosystem services are maintained.”

Humiston said that, in time, systems can be developed for the public to support the ecosystem services they enjoy.

“You might have a small surcharge on binoculars,” she said. “That money could be used to protect bird habitat so birders can go somewhere to see birds. Water districts might assess a surcharge on your water bill to pay for the forested watersheds where they are getting your water. There are many different mechanisms to do this. We're trying to figure out what would be the best mechanism.”

During the summit, a team of researchers, policymakers and industry professionals launched a new phase of work to calculate with scientific accuracy the value of ecosystem services. Larson is a member of the leadership team, along with executive director of the Central Valley Partnership Dan O'Connell and Sequoia Riverlands Trust director of pubic planning and policy Adam Livingston.

UCCE rangeland advisor Stephanie Larson, left, leads a working session to develop strategies for determining the value of ecosystem services. Also pictured are Eva Shepherd of Chicostart, center, and Colleen Kedrell of Next 10.

The team is working with partners to secure funding and technical support to integrate data sets already available from the Council of Governments' Rural-Urban Connections Strategy into an open source, statewide system for mapping ecosystem services.

Once the tool is established, the team will be ready to pilot test it in four areas of California that provide ecosystem services.

“I love this concept,” said Kenny Spain, economic development specialist with the Headwaters Fund in Humboldt County and a member of the task force. “It's a valuable tool.”

U.S. Congressman Jim Costa contributes to the discussion about California ecosystem services.
 
California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross endorsed the work of the working landscapes task force at the California Economic Summit.

Learn more:

Ecosystem Services and California's Working Landscapes: Market Mechanisms to Revitalize Rural Economies (2017)

View a 4-minute video of UC ANR vice president Glenda Humiston announcing the release of the report, California's Working Landscape: A Key Contributor to the State's Economic Vitality, at the 2019 California Economic Summit.

 

View California Governor Gavin Newsom's keynote address at the 2019 California Economic Summit:

Posted on Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 11:21 AM
Focus Area Tags: Economic Development, Environment

The 2019 California Economic Summit registration opens

Gov. Gavin Newsom is slated to be the headline speaker

Registration has opened for the 2019 California Economic Summit, to be held in Fresno Nov. 7-8. The summit, produced by California Forward (CA Fwd), marks the eighth annual gathering of private, public and civic leaders from across California's diverse regions committed to creating a shared economic agenda to expand prosperity for all.

Since California Gov. Gavin Newsom was elected, he has spoken about creating policies to benefit all parts of California. He established the Regions Rise Together Initiative focused on bolstering the economies of inland California. The governor has committed to sharing early findings from this initiative at the summit in Fresno.

“We need an economy that works for all Californians, no matter who you are or where you live,” said Gov. Newsom. “The California Economic Summit will be a critical moment for us to come together, across all sectors, and commit to building inclusive and sustainable growth for the entire state.”

An early registration discount of 20% is available until Sept. 1.

The summit's tagline – Regions Rise Together – aligns with the governor's initiative and captures the importance of a regional approach to economic development. Issues of housing, cradle-to-career education, workforce development, water quality and sustainability, forest resiliency and broadband access will be discussed and will result in policy recommendations for California and other states to adopt.

“We are thrilled that the summit is coming to Fresno this year. It is fitting that inland California hosts the event, which is concentrating on the issues facing those of us who don't live in the coastal regions of the state,” said Ashley Swearengin, CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation and CA Fwd Leadership Council Member. “The solutions we develop here will not only benefit California but are potentially a blueprint for other economically disadvantaged areas across the nation.”

In addition to Gov. Newsom, speakers at the event will include former State Treasurer John Chiang, Chief Economic and Business Advisor and Director of the Office of Business and Economic Development Lenny Mendonca, numerous state and federal legislators and other regional and state leaders.

UC President Janet Napolitano, CSU Chancellor Timothy White, California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley, and the President of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities Kristen Soares will participate in a discussion moderated by Lande Ajose, Senior Policy Advisor for Higher Education for the Newsom Administration, marking a rare moment when all leaders of California higher education are on stage together.

Vice president of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, Glenda Humiston, is part of the summit steering committee and the team lead for Ecosystem Vitality and Working Landscapes section.

“The San Joaquin Valley and Sierra Nevada are ground zero for developing resilient strategies to make our regions prosperous, equitable, and sustainable," Humiston said. "The summit is the forum for aligning and advancing triple-bottom-line policies that work.”

During the summit, winners of the 3rd annual Partnerships for Industry and Education (PIE) contest will be announced. Sponsored by The Walt Disney Company, the contest is designed to identify and highlight partnerships between industry and education that are filling the need for a skilled workforce in California.

The summit will be at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 2233 Ventura St., Fresno. An early bird registration discount of 20% is available until Sept. 1. For more information and to register visit summit.caeconomy.org/registration.

The event's tagline is 'Regions Rise Together,' suggesting that local economies can rise along with the state's more populated areas.

About California Forward

California Forward (CA Fwd) is a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization devoted to championing policies that will result in shared prosperity for all Californians and improving the performance of government at all levels. CA Fwd believes that every region in the state must have a voice to ensure their economic prosperity. In addition, we believe that increased emphasis on accountability and transparency will create a government that Californians deserve and expect. In 2019 CA Fwdannounced an integration with the California Stewardship Network, further strengthening the organization's capacity and footprint in the diverse regions across California.

About UC ANR

UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) brings the power of UC research in agriculture, natural resources, nutrition and youth development to local communities to improve the lives of all Californians. Learn more at ucanr.edu.

Posted on Friday, August 2, 2019 at 2:40 PM
Focus Area Tags: Economic Development
 
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