The Lower Willamette region is located in northwestern Oregon and is predicted to experience climate changes including increases in temperature, extreme weather events, and reduced snowpack. To address these challenges, the Climate Leadership Initiative (CLI) conducted a series of workshops and published a report entitled “Building Climate Resiliency in the Lower Willamette Region of Western Oregon.” The report provides 40 multi-sector adaptation recommendations to prepare the Portland area for a changing climate.
CLIMAS, housed at the University of Arizona's Institute of the Environment, was established in 1998 as part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program to help address growing environmental and social concerns.
Climate change is now widely acknowledged as a global problem that threatens the success of marine and coastal conservation, management, and policy. Mitigation and adaptation are the two approaches commonly used to address actual and projected climate change impacts. Mitigation applies to efforts to decrease the rate and extent of climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions or the enhancement of carbon uptake and storage; adaptation deals with minimizing the negative effects or exploiting potential opportunities of climate change.
The Upper Willamette River Basin of western Oregon borders the Coast Mountain Range to the west and the headwaters of the Cascade Mountains to the east. The Basin encompasses nearly two million acres, 90% of which is forested. Climate change is likely to alter natural systems and resources of the Upper Willamette River Basin, subsequently affecting ecosystem services in the region.
The U.S. Global Change Research Program’s mission is “to build a knowledge base that informs human responses to climate and global change through coordinated and integrated federal programs of research, education, communication, and decision support.” The Program produces assessments of climate change and its implications, participates in the U.S. Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, and provides educational materials to support climate literacy and educational development.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and state and tribal wildlife agencies, created a National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy to coordinate climate change responses in both the public and private sector. The strategy, released in March 2013, is a framework to guide responsible adaptation action by natural resource managers around the United States in the face of a changing climate.
In October 2010, the U.S. Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force released a series of recommendations to President Obama on how federal agencies could coordinate and collaborate on a national adaptation strategy. The Task Force released two progress reports in 2010 and 2011, and plans to continue to support implementation of the recommendations. This process represents the first steps towards a coordinated strategy for federal adaptation action on climate change.
Located across southern Oregon and northern California, the Klamath Basin consists of unique ecological areas and natural resources that provide important ecosystem services to the region. Climate change impacts, such as warmer air temperatures and decreases in water levels, are likely to significantly affect natural systems and resources of the Klamath Basin.