Looking to the Land
A longtime touts the climate benefits of undeveloped land
Jim Strickland’s advice to fellow ranchers interested in combating climate change is simple: Stay in business.
“Nearly every acre in Florida that’s developed, other than the barrier islands, was formerly a cattle ranch,” says the lifelong Manatee County rancher. “If it wasn't a cattle ranch, it was probably timber or farms. If we can work out ways to keep our ranches and farms and timber operations in business then that in itself is going to help with global warming. Because once that land is sold and becomes a subdivision with impermeable surfaces, the water hydrology changes, and you have no carbon sequestration to speak of. We don’t want to stop development. That's a huge economic engine, but there needs to be balance...
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