News From the Wild Side - April 2017

This Saturday is Earth Day - the anniversary of the day a voice was given to the environmental movement. A day when we celebrate and get our hands dirty. Nearly five decades have passed since the launch of this historic movement, celebrating the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, passing laws such as the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, and more recently the launch of the National Organic Program. 

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The environmental movement has a lot to celebrate. But of course there is much more to do. Animal and plant species are continuing to disappear, the effects of climate change are increasing, and critical habitat and ecosystems are functioning at lower levels. 

Fortunately, Earth Day still remains a day of action that can unite us all towards the common goal of putting our environmental issues at the forefront of our policies and everyday lives.

In fact, this week Wild Farm Alliance is at the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting where we are discussing the future of the organic movement. These meetings are beyond inspiring (if not also frustrating) and filled with incredibly smart and passionate presentations. The energy and excitement is contagious and I walk away from these bi-annual meetings with a renewed sense of what I am working towards - a perfect lead up to Earth Day.

This week, I challenge you to find your passion, your green-fire, and dig in to help Wild Farm Alliance continue our work, the legacy of the first Earth Day.

Below you will find instructions (if you need them) on the importance of donning your cape and mask and flying out of the phone booth as a superhero this Earth Day. 

Thank you for your commitment to a biodiverse, beautiful, healthy planet. 

For the wild, 

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               Shelly_pic.jpg

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Jo Ann Baumgartner            Shelly Connor
Executive Director               Assistant Director


plowing_grassland1.pngProtecting the Integrity of the Organic Label

At this moment, Wild Farm Alliance is in Denver, CO at the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting, giving public statement about the critical need to protect High Conservation Value Areas from being converted to production. The places this would target are habitats that support vulnerable, threatened or endangered species, or ecosystems that provide critical services such as pollination, carbon storage, and erosion control.

Thank you to all of you who submitted comments a few weeks ago. We anticipate the comment period will open up again after the NOSB meeting and we will reach out again with a call to action. 

Protecting High Conservation Value Areas is critical for wildlife and the future of our agricultural systems. The National Organic Program’s (NOP) three-year waiting period for land to be free of prohibited substances unintentionally incentivizes producers to convert native ecosystems since this land is instantly ready for organic certification. While organic agriculture is an ecological management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, it offers no environmental protections prior to certification.

This issue has long been a part of our campaign to maintain the integrity of organic agriculture and we are thrilled about moving forward with this next step. 


2a.Cone_Flower.jpegThe Economics of Preserving Biodiversity

Researchers from The University of Illinois teamed up to create a new model to measure the dollar value of adding or losing species from an ecosystem. What this team, made up of economists and ecologists, looked at is how different species performed a crucial role - storing carbon.

The research team measured the carbon storing capacity of different plants in a grassland ecosystem. Then they modeled their results to show that adding species increases the capability of that ecosystem to store more carbon. Specifically, an increase of 1 to 10 species doubled the economic gain (in dollars) versus an increase of 1 to 2 species.

The more species in a grassland = higher economic value in the grassland storing carbon.

What we can’t forget is that storing carbon is only one of the many hundreds of ecosystem services this grassland potentially provides. Hopefully the emerging focus on how to address climate change is bringing the importance of biodiversity to the forefront.

Read More 


SacramentoCoopImage.jpgVisit the Sacramento Natural Food Co-op on April 22nd!

Every time you shop at the Sacramento Natural Food Co-op with your own reusable bags, the Co-op donates five cents to environmental groups—totaling over $16,000 in the last year. Every Earth Day, Co-op shoppers get to vote for the new line-up of groups that receive Co-op support for the following year.

This year, Wild Farm Alliance has been nominated as a potential beneficiary.

Please visit the Sacramento Natural Food Co-op on April 22 and VOTE for Wild Farm Alliance!


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Wild Farm Alliance is excited to be speaking at The Organic Center's 2017 Organic Confluences Summit, May 22-23. 

The Summit brings together organic stakeholders to address methods for improving research communication among farmers, scientists, extension agents, industry members and key policy influencers.

Jo Ann will be speaking on a biodiversity case study panel that examines communication about research, implementation and adoption as it pertains to the NOP Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation Guidance.

Register for the Summit here. 


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Calling All Superheroes! 

Yes, you read that right, grab your green mask and cape and join Superheroes from across the country to make a donation to Wild Farm Alliance. 

The world needs Green Superheroes now more than ever -

By making a heroic donation to Wild Farm Alliance, you will - 

  • help farmers find solutions to combat the devastating effects of climate change; 
  • slow the loss of biodiversity; 
  • fight for federal dollars to target conservation; and
  • protect habitat for endangered wildlife. 

Click here to earn your Green Superhero status today!


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www.wildfarmalliance.org


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