Restoring public lands helps fight climate change

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(ABC 6 News) – Saturday is National Public Lands Day and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wants to remind everyone that public lands play a critical role in the fight against climate change.

It says that protecting natural landscapes helps Minnesota adapt to the effects of climate change.

The DNR is committed to protecting wildlife and outdoor recreation, and in doing this work it found that there are significant climate benefits.

“Almost everything we do, from a habitat perspective, has climate benefits,” said Prairie Habitat Supervisor Greg Hoch.

The DNR has worked for decades to restore, protect and enhance different habitats across the state.

“Literally tens of thousands of acres of grasslands, wetlands and forests every year,” said Hoch.

The habitats they restore are very good at filtering pollutants in groundwater and reducing downstream flooding.

It also helps to reduce the amount of carbon in the air.

“The habitats that we work on are very very good at storing carbon, absorbing it out of the air, locking it up in either the plants or the soils,” said Hoch.

The DNR has many agencies they partner with because the more people working to protect the climate, the better results they see.

“Working together on the landscape, it becomes much more powerful than if any one individual, or one organization were out there just affecting a small percentage of the landscape themselves,” said Hoch.

Even if you’re not someone who goes out hunting or visits these sites, all Minnesotans benefit from what these lands have to offer.