(Colorado News Connection) As summer rolls in across Colorado, the threats of wildfire, diminishing snowpack and prolonged drought weigh heavy on the minds of many residents who cherish the state's iconic landscapes and wildlife.
Conservationists are encouraging people to get in touch with their local land trusts to be part of the climate solution.
Melissa Daruna, executive director of the group Keep it Colorado, said investing in conservation is critical for maintaining the state's vital resources and biodiversity.
"Because it helps us protect the land and the water and provide habitat for the wildlife," Daruna contended. "All of that creates more resiliency, and helps to kind of protect us from the most severe impacts of climate change."
Land Trusts are already at work, using a variety of tools, to protect private and public natural and working lands in all corners of the state. Daruna pointed out you do not have to be a landowner to make a difference. To connect with a trust near you, follow the "get empowered" link at keepitco.org.
A recent survey found 83% of Coloradans support a national climate mitigation goal of protecting 30% of America's lands and waters by 2030, but they are not necessarily rolling up their sleeves and getting to work.
Daruna emphasized summer is an ideal time to get involved with your local land trust. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities and innovative fundraisers.
"Buying tickets to go on facilitated hikes. It can look like volunteering on a stewardship project or a trail-restoration project," Daruna outlined. "It can look like buying food from a local farm or ranch that is conserved."
Nearly nine in 10 Coloradans surveyed said a public official's stance on the environment is important. Daruna added as the November midterms draw closer, it is important for voters to take action at the ballot box.
"Take a deep dive into who is likely to represent them moving forward at the state and the federal level," Daruna urged. "Making sure that they also, those elected officials, represent their constituents' values on the environment and action on climate."