About Us

About the Rural Climate Network:

The idea for the Rural Climate Network was born at the 2011 National Rural Assembly. During the conference, a climate change working group formed in response to the lack of collaboration among rural communities regarding climate change adaptation and mitigation. Rural, natural resource-dependent communities are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, as they are often those most closely linked to natural ecosystems for their economic, social and environmental well-being. The Rural Climate Network is intended to foster collaboration that will eventually get at the complex issues that create rural injustices.

The Rural Climate Network advances practical strategies to adapt to and mitigate the current and anticipated effects of climate change across the nation. Members of this network share social and technical approaches to climate change between agriculture, forestry, and other natural resource dependent communities. The network documents innovations, best practices, impacts, and other stories to facilitate broad diffusion of lessons learned. This work connects rural leaders in order to generate and respond to state and national climate change policies.


Our goals in this effort:

1. To provide a venue for a broad, cross-sector collection of rural voices and organizations to work together to define and respond to climate change policies at the state and national levels.

2. To ensure that rural voices become a leading force in development of climate change policy and solutions in their communities.

3. To ensure that any market-based policies developed actually contribute to greenhouse gas emissions reductions and provide real benefits to rural residents and their communities.

4. To promote changes in legislation that will assist rural communities in developing adequate responses to the current and anticipated effects of climate change on their communities, surrounding landscapes, and natural resources.

5. To engage the next generation of rural leaders in a dialogue about climate change and ensure their perspectives are informing and included in state and national policy recommendations.


Our intended outcomes in this effort:

1. Leverage our grassroots networks from different regions of the country to gain momentum and political influence through development of coordinated rural messages on climate change.

2. Activate a network of organizations that can promote progressive climate policies, as well as support actions that would stop harmful policies.

3. Provide on-the-ground examples that demonstrate evidence of climate change and showcase the issues, opportunities, and solutions that exist across rural communities and landscapes to educate broad audiences and inform actionable climate policy.

4. More effectively share and disseminate best practices in forestry, farming, and ranching as they relate to climate change.

5. Provide resources and partnerships for County commissions, mayors, service providers, and extension officers to work with communities, landowners, city planners, and others to engage on climate change issues and develop adaptation plans.

6. Inform and empower rural communities to prepare for negative effects of climate change (wildfire, drought, flooding, etc.) and decide the best way to create ecological and economic resilience.


Membership benefits:

1. Join a community of like-minded organizations in sharing successes and lessons learned.

2. Regular communication via email updates and the Rural Climate Network newsletter.

3. Invitations to participate in learning calls, webinars, and in-person meetings.

4. Representation on the Rural Climate Network member map and events calendar.

5. Provide input and strategies to shape climate policy in a way that's inclusive of rural concerns.


Membership responsibilities:

1. Uphold the principles of the Rural Compact in your work.

2. Submit organizational information and climate projects for your Rural Climate Network member page.

3. Regularly share your organization's events and projects to be highlighted on the website and in the newsletter.


To contact the Rural Climate Network with questions, comments, or membership interest, email Tara Ritter at tritter@iatp.org.