Nature-based solutions, such as ecological forest management, meadow restoration, and “regenerative" agricultural practices, can yield multiple benefits for people and ecosystems. Those benefits include climate emissions reduction and sequestration; protection of people, ecosystems, and public health; improvements in the quantity, quality, and timing of water supplies; maintenance and restoration of biodiversity; and more. While the benefits of nature-based solutions are substantial, their implementation requires innovative ways of thinking about land and resource management. For nature-based solutions to be successful, state climate policy leaders must work together across traditional silos of discipline and landscape types, and they need to embrace novel, integrated policies and funding sources. While more complex, nature-based solutions are powerful and necessary to meet the climate crisis.
A report authored by Stanford’s Felicia Marcus examines how states are turning to nature in their efforts to combat climate change. Marcus, the William C. Landreth Visiting Fellow at Stanford’s Water in the West program, is an attorney and water policy expert who has worked on water-related management and policy issues at the federal, state and local levels. In the documents below, Marcus explores the status of state policies advocating nature-based solutions, such as restoring beaver habitat to enhance water supplies, reduce the severity of forest fires, and sequester carbon, in Colorado River Basin states.
Reports and Briefs: