By staff reports
Wyoming’s nonprofit Synergy for Ecological Solutions made their first grant to Carbon Asset Network’s landowner member, Hellyer Ranch in Lander on Wednesday, June 16, 2021.
This grant will enable the ranch to execute a customized plan for greater soil health developed by both Hellyer and Carbon Asset Network’s certified professional agronomist, Neal Fehringer.
The increase in soil health is a result in improving plant production, which causes an increase in photosynthesis. More photosynthesis removes additional carbon dioxide from the air and, in turn release more oxygen into the air and secures more carbon into the soil by increased root growth from more vegetative growth. This is the basis for ‘carbon sinks’ and ‘carbon sequestration,’ which is Nature’s method of cleaning our air.
“Sometimes it’s not understood that there’s a natural connection between improving our soil and reducing carbon in our air,” says John Robitaille, Director of Carbon Asset Network (CAN). “CAN works with the manager of the land to develop a customized science-based solution to increase soil health and meet their land goals. This is the new way forward.”
The manager of the land, called Land Stewards, enlists in the You360 program, which provides funding to develop the soil for one year. The Land Stewards can be ranchers, farmers, or managers of any open land, such as parks or golf courses. This is not connected to any government program and the funding comes from donations to the nonprofit, Synergy for Ecological Solutions.
“At Hellyer Ranch, we have taken some steps towards soil health, but with this grant, we can accomplish major goals,” says Jim Hellyer. “You’ll never find a better steward for our environment than someone who manages land.”
The nonprofit has developed a unique way to fundraise for climate wellness, using donated funds to clean our air, which empowers individuals and businesses to be advocates for the environment.
“There are many people who wake up each day, concerned about our climate. And, businesses are looking for ways to meet ESG goals. Yet, until now, the only solutions offered were to eat vegan, recycle, and perhaps protest fossil fuels. SYNERGY gives the opportunity to donate in order to improve soil health,” says Jeff Holder, Director of Synergy for Ecological Solutions. “We encourage a change of mindset. Rather than wishing for a carbon neutral future in the next few years or decades, let’s make a change right now, today. Finally, everyone can do something that has a direct impact on our climate.”
In the You360 program, donors can donate towards one acre of land for $30 a month/$360 a year. It’s a one-year commitment and the funds pay for agronomy/soil testing and development, with the lion’s share going directly to the Land Steward.
The funds are often used for additional equipment such as a no-till drill or for fencing and labor to help with mob grazing, a practice that has proven to sequester more carbon.
“We celebrate this new way to help ranchers improve their soil,” says Jim Magagna, Executive Vice-President of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. “With funds from CAN, the rancher is able to adjust their operation with the result of healthier soil and healthier land.”
For more information visit, SynergyForEcologicalSolutions.org or CarbonAssetNetwork.com.