Creating a Climate-Resilient Groton

Over the last 60 years, the GCT has been conserving parcels in Groton, over 1,500 acres to date. As we learn more about climate change and the crisis it presents to our communities, we find land conservation has an even greater value.

Forests and Carbon Sequestering

Active meadow and forest management at Bates Land

Publicly and privately owned forests and grasslands can sequester (absorb) and store a tremendous amount of carbon, and have significant potential to do more. The U.S. Forest Service reports that the nation’s forests and forest products offset nearly 16 percent of domestic carbon dioxide emissions by storing 866 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, a quantity equivalent to the annual emissions from 50 million gas- or diesel-fueled vehicles.

To capitalize on this, the Healey-Driscoll administration released the report of the Climate Forestry Committee:  Recommendations for Climate Oriented Forest Management Guidelines. In it, a select committee of climate experts recommend Massachusetts “keep forests as forests” by increasing permanent land conservation. Their recommendations include enlarging forest reserves, applying practices for maintaining carbon stocks, and implementing passive management strategies to realize older forests and increase carbon stocks.

Last year, the GCT adopted climate action as one of our core objectives for the coming years. As our climate changes, we realize the GCT can help Groton become resilient through thoughtful forestry, continued stewardship and protection.

As David Foster, Director Emeritus, Harvard Forest, Harvard University, said about the 2024 Report of the Massachusetts Climate Forestry Committee, “There is a need to embrace both passive management (for natural processes with minimal human intervention) and active management (purposeful interventions to promote specific outcomes).” The GCT continues to act on both of these management efforts.

With your continued support, the GCT can help mitigate a changing climate and preserve the quality of life in our community for generations to come.