This climate change vulnerability assessment documents climate change impacts and trends that have been observed along the Kuskokwim River. It was commissioned by the Georgetown Tribal Council to help inform their efforts to re-settle the Native Village of Georgetown, and to provide a starting place for working with neighboring communities to plan for climate change. Information was collected through a variety of methods, including interviews with elders and the collection of Traditional Knowledge, mapping and graphing of environmental data, review of published literature, and interviews with local scientists and natural resource managers.
The climate change vulnerability assessment revealed that subsistence resources are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change Some of the most vulnerable resources included berries, salmon, moose, and other game animals. Populations of these vital resources could become less reliable over time, but in addition, issues related to food storage, access, health, economics, and spiritual well-being are also at risk. Some of the issues identified in this assessment related to the resettlement of Georgetown in terms of infrastructure and community planning include the potential for increased contamination of water resources, increased risk of wildfire to structures, and increased risk of flooding. The Native Village of Georgetown has an opportunity to develop their village using approaches to building and siting that reduce their risks over time.