Climate Trust Capital Announces First Grasslands Investment

Zumwalt Prairie. Image Credit: J. Johansen, NRCS.

U.S.-based private investment fund Climate Trust Capital, an independent entity of the long-standing, mission-driven nonprofit The Climate Trust, today announced it has reached agreement on its first carbon investment in the grassland conservation sector. The $260,000 commitment is among the first investments from Climate Trust Capital’s $5.5 million Fund I. The Fund I pilot launched in October 2016, and was seeded by a Program-Related Investment from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and supported by a Conservation Innovation Grant awarded in 2015 by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Fund I’s investment thesis is to identify and invest in carbon offset projects that produce attractive risk-adjusted returns.

Ranch owners, Dan and Suzy Probert and family, have teamed up with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to ensure the ranch will be managed to benefit both ranching livelihoods and the native habitat and wildlife it supports. The agricultural conservation easement on the property allows for livestock grazing that follows a grazing management plan created with TNC.

The 12,225-acre Lightning Creek Ranch project is part of a larger effort to conserve North America’s largest remaining intact bunch grass prairie habitat, while also supporting the local ranching community. Located in Oregon’s Wallowa County, the project area is considered some of the most unique and ecologically important land in the country.

Climate Trust Capital has made an eleven-year commitment to invest in the project, which is estimated to keep 55,000 tons of carbon emissions out of the atmosphere by preventing native grassland from being…

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