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Sept 2011 update

Soil Carbon Coalition
September 6, 2011

It's been a busy summer. I've moved into a school bus, and departed on a cross-country Soil Carbon Challenge baseline tour. The Challenge is a competition to showcase land managers who can turn atmospheric carbon into water-holding, fertility-enhancing soil organic matter.

  school bus in grassland
  In South Dakota.
  dung beetles
  Biodiversity doesn't just sit there. IT DOES THE WORK. Dung beetles at work on a Grasslands/Savory Institute ranch in South Dakota.

After some difficulties with the website during this transition, it is now up and fully functional. See the recent update on the Challenge baseline tour, which concludes with an approximate itinerary for the rest of September.

If you want to help change the way we think about the carbon and water cycles, and the opportunities for enhancing these, please consider the following options:

1. Enter the Challenge. In North America, we can do replicable baselines for under a thousand dollars, depending on location and timing. Everything we do is open source, and Peter is happy to show others the practical, accurate, and replicable monitoring method.

2. Partner with us. Are you an organization, group, municipal government, park and recreation district, or water district with an interest in conservation, sustainable land management, and recognizing positive deviants (those who are successful beyond the norm)? Help us connect to people who have achieved or are likely to achieve above-average results in building soil carbon, and want to succeed at it. We can help monitor what land managers in your area are achieving.

3. Make a donation. If you would like to help support a Challenge or monitoring project in a specific area, a specific sector, or even with a specific land manager, we'll gladly help you do this. With a clearly delimited project, you can get an accounting, in tons, of the atmospheric carbon that is turned into water-holding, fertility-enhancing soil carbon. You can start your own localized Soil Carbon Challenge!

  Our map of soil carbon change is becoming a diverse, site-specific answer to the question, how can we increase soil carbon? Can you help us fill this map? Click on the map to explore it on the web.

4. Ask Peter or one of our board members or associates to address a group in your area. For example, Peter does the following facilitated workshop, either half or full day:

Discovering the carbon cycle

Most of what we hear about carbon, and the global carbon cycle, is
threatening and negative. It's a bad situation, and we don't seem to
have much power or leverage over it.

All of our environmental and economic issues depend on the ways carbon
and water move, on every scale from the square foot of soil surface to
the entire globe. Human decisions have an enormous influence on the
way these cycles function. And underlying human decisions are our
beliefs, often based on past experience and training.

Peter Donovan has been establishing soil carbon baseline measurements
on progressive and innovative ranches and farms in the west, and is
currently traveling eastward doing the same. He will tell the
fascinating and little-known story of the discovery of the carbon
cycle, its relation to water, describe what some of these innovative
ranchers and farmers are doing to enhance these functions, and
facilitate a discussion on ways to take advantage of these enormous


   Peter Donovan
   Soil Carbon Coalition

541-263-1888 (U.S. central and eastern time for September)

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