Location: Poplar Hill, Ontario (near London) - Zone 6a
posted 4 years ago
I don't know your current level of involvement with local politics, but here are some rather general pieces of advice from my experience:
1. Learn more - Get to know your municipality's existing by-laws, and look for ones that strike you as counter-productive to the broader interests of the species. For instance, where I live (in Southern Ontario, Canada), there is a county "Weed Inspector' who literally enforces people take out weeds on a provincially issued 'noxious weeds list', and non-compliance likely means a visit from this weed inspector to spray toxic gick to eliminate them. By-laws are often found in totality online. While you're browsing that document, think about ways the by-laws reward or punish certain lifestyle choices - including carbon farming. Punishments are typically fines, and rewards are often time-limited grant programs. In my region, the rewards are often for planting trees more generally, and this comes from partnerships with non-profits, as opposed to something in the by-laws themselves.
2. Get to know local politicians, or even better, staff - In my experience, if you come to them with your passion (not your anger), they are likely to be curious about the ideas and information you bring to the table. That doesn't mean they'll be easily convinced, or act on that information (or truly believe it), but it's a much better way to build a foundation. Give them opportunities to endorse ideas that won't cost them much, but make them look and feel good. Try not to back them up against a wall, or make them feel ridiculous - no one likes that.
3. Look for models - See what's going on in other municipalities, and bring this to the attention of your new friends at City Hall in a courteous way. Maybe something like a public info night scheduled around their availability - could be a guest speaker, if you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself.
As to specific incentives that support Carbon Farming - grants or tax breaks are the ones that come to mind for me. Some municipalities give funding for restoration ecology type projects, and sometimes these already give limited support to carbon farming type projects (eg. you might get your native mulberries, hazels, pawpaws or aronia covered in the northeast, but don't expect them to pay for your autumn olives - if they are heavily native plant centric, like in my region.)
Hope this helps, and interested to hear what others share on this topic.
In Texas we have Wildlife Management tax status for land which is equal to agricultural status. The purpose of this status is to preserve open space. There is, as far as I know, no conflict between carbon farming perennial systems and wildlife, in fact, these systems can vastly improve wildlife habitat. So anyone in Texas who has or wants to obtain agricultural status on their land could then transition to wildlife management and retain their special tax status while carbon farming.
Our land is devoted to wildlife management, and we're mostly growing trees.