Climate change threatens Cascadia with droughts, fires, and pests, imperiling the region’s farms and forests. And globally, greenhouse gas emissions continue to accelerate. It is time to think about how we will adapt. One certainty is that we will rely on working lands, and their stewards, as we wade into this uncharted territory.

At the same time, decades of pesticide overuse, unchecked erosion, and intensive monocropping have harmed Cascadia’s soils. Clearcutting and aerial pesticide spraying continue in the region’s forests, imperiling the most carbon-rich ecoregion on earth. And Cascadia’s rural communities must cope with job scarcity and the new reality that traditional agriculture and forestry work provide unstable livelihoods.

Our Farms & Forests program aims to tackle these overlapping challenges by promoting land management practices that help rebuild our soils, ecosystems, and rural economies. Regenerative farming practices feed the life within the soil, creating a more resilient food system better prepared to withstand changing weather patterns. Reforestation, long-rotation management, and selective harvesting will safeguard Cascadia’s forests—its living lungs. These practices could also remove climate-altering carbon from the atmosphere. Sightline’s Farms and Forests program explores these opportunities in search of effective strategies for revitalizing and fortifying the region’s working lands as we face the climate crisis.

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Farm and forests

Palouse hills, Washington Image by Chris Devaraj