ICL’s Priorities

  1. Promote Land Use Practices that Absorb and Store Carbon in the Ground
  2. Reducing Methane Emissions through Established and Emerging Technologies
  3. Advocate for Climate Policies that Boost Rural Economies

1. Promote Land Use Practices that Absorb and Store Carbon in the Ground

Agriculture and forestry are two of the largest industries in Idaho. They also face some of the most significant impacts from climate change. Supporting and rewarding land managers for their solutions to fighting climate change is essential for addressing climate change in rural Idaho. One way to better incorporate agricultural-focused climate solutions is through the carbon credit market.

Carbon credits are a certificate or permit representing the right to emit one metric ton of carbon dioxide and can be traded in markets voluntarily or for regulatory compliance. Supporting a market to buy and sell these carbon credits would extend the current market system farmers and landowners are familiar with to include climate change mitigation.

We need your help in advocating for these policies! Our elected leaders need to hear that Idahoan’s support policies that reward farmers, ranchers, and foresters in rural Idaho for sequestering carbon, reducing emissions, improving soil health, and increasing rural sustainability. You can help by telling Idaho’s congressional delegation to support our farmers, ranchers, and foresters fighting climate change.

2. Reduce Methane Emissions through Established and Emerging Technologies

Methane emissions from Idaho’s agriculture sector are a significant contributor to climate change — surpassed only by carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. In Idaho, this pollutant comes primarily from cow digestive processes and the breakdown of manure. Over the past few decades, Idaho has seen a drastic increase in the number of large, concentrated animal feedlots (commonly known as CAFOs). This rise in the number of CAFOs has seen an equivalent rise in the amount of manure produced by livestock — and the methane that it releases.

The predominant method for managing livestock manure currently involves spreading it over fields. In addition to creating serious water contamination and public health concerns, this “land applied” manure is left to release methane into the atmosphere. Rather than letting this happen, we’re working to promote waste-to-wealth technologies that help capture methane and allow it to be used on-site for heat or energy needs. Capturing and burning this methane rather than letting it freely escape not only reduces the climate impact but also releases about one half the carbon dioxide as burning coal.

The management of livestock and their manure can be a significant contributor to climate change, or it can be part of the solution using proven technology that captures methane emissions.

3. Advocate for Climate Policies that Boost Rural Economies

Our agricultural-focused climate work must do two things, 1) benefit climate mitigation efforts, and 2) benefit the rural communities where they will be implemented. This “dual benefits” approach is at the core of our climate work. Whether it’s working to pay farmers for the carbon they capture and store or collaborating on investments for new technologies that capture methane emissions, we’re striving to ensure these policies benefit Idaho’s rural communities.

It’s also our goal to support these communities by making the land use and forestry industries vital to their economies more resilient in the face of climate change. These natural resource industries rely on predictable weather patterns to know what to plant, when to plant it, and when to harvest. Climate change is driving unpredictable weather patterns, and worse, extreme events such as drought or fires, making this work that much more difficult. We’re working with these communities to not only capture and store more carbon in the ground but also to prepare for — and respond to — climate-driven extreme events. Our vision is thriving rural communities that are key players in Idaho’s efforts to address climate change.