The Nature Conservancy (TNC) convened a two-day workshop on climate change adaptation in the Jemez Mountains on April 21-22, 2009 in Los Alamos, New Mexico. More than 50 representatives of state and federal agencies, tribal governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participated.
The Jemez Mountains Climate Change Adaptation Workshop was the first in a series of four to be organized by the Southwest Climate Change Initiative (SWCCI), a project of TNC and collaborators from the Wildlife Conservation Society, USDA Forest Service, University of Arizona and University of Washington. The goal of the SWCCI is to provide information and tools for climate change adaptation planning and implementation to conservation practitioners in the Four Corners states: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.
The workshop goal was to help resource managers develop strategies for helping species and ecosystems adapt to climate change, and to enhance cross-boundary collaboration using new tools and the best available climate change science. The objectives of the workshop were:
- Provide background information on climate change and its effects in the one million-acre Jemez Mountains landscape;
- Assess the effects of climate change on key species, ecosystems and ecological processes;
- Using a new adaptation planning framework, identify management actions to reduce climate change impacts;
- Identify opportunities for learning, collaboration and application of the adaptation planning process for natural resource management in the Jemez Mountains.
Over the course of two days, managers, scientists and conservation practitioners worked together to identify adaptation strategies under two climate change scenarios – one moderate, and one more extreme.
Following the workshop, representatives of the Santa Fe National Forest, Valles Caldera National Preserve, Jemez Pueblo, NM Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute and TNC resolved to work together to develop an ecological restoration strategy for a 210,000-acre mixed-ownership landscape in the southwestern Jemez Mountains.
Finally, the work of the Southwest Climate Change Initiative continues. In December 2009, a second climate change adaptation workshop was held for Colorado’s Gunnison Basin (see http://www.nmconservation.org/projects/new_mexico_climate_change for products) , and a third is scheduled for April 2010 for the forests of northern Arizona. A fourth workshop will be held in Utah in mid-2010.