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Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah

East Jemez Landscape Futures Needs Assessment and Recommendations: Identifying cross-boundary opportunities for management in altered landscapes

The East Jemez Landscape Futures (EJLF) is a collaborative process that aims to develop a holistic and forward-looking approach to managing areas of the eastern Jemez Mountains that have been altered by drought, high severity fire, and post-fire flooding. In order to engage a diversity of regional stakeholders and understand perspectives about the impacted landscape, we conducted a needs assessment to launch the project.

Can Land Management Buffer Impacts of Climate Changes and Altered Fire Regimes on Ecosystems of the Southwestern United States?

Climate changes and associated shifts in ecosystems and fire regimes present enormous challenges for the management of landscapes in the Southwestern US. A central question is whether management strategies can maintain or promote desired ecological conditions under projected future climates. We modeled wildfire and forest responses to climate changes and management activities using two ecosystem process models: FireBGCv2, simulated for the Jemez Mountains, New Mexico, and LANDIS-II, simulated for the Kaibab Plateau, Arizona.

Restoring Composition and Structure in Southwestern Frequent-Fire Forests: A science-based framework for improving ecosystem resiliency

Ponderosa pine and dry mixed-conifer forests in the Southwest United States are experiencing, or have become increasingly susceptible to, large-scale severe wildfire, insect, and disease episodes resulting in altered plant and animal demographics, reduced productivity and biodiversity, and impaired ecosystem processes and functions. We present a management framework based on a synthesis of science on forest ecology and management, reference conditions, and lessons learned during implementations of our restoration framework.

Fire Regimes Approaching Historic Norms Reduce Wildfire-Facilitated Conversion From Forest to Non-Forest

Extensive high-severity wildfires have driven major losses of ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests in the southwestern United States, in some settings catalyzing enduring conversions to nonforested vegetation types. Management interventions to reduce the probability of stand-replacing wildfire have included mechanical fuel treatments, prescribed fire, and wildfire managed for resource benefit.

Central Arizona Project Climate Action Plan

The Central Arizona Project (CAP) provides renewable water supply to central and southern Arizona, where about 80 percent of the population of Arizona resides. This water supply comes from the Colorado River Basin and is subject to priority administration during drought. Recent drought, as well as studies on the potential impacts of climate change, have put a fine point on the need for CAP to be prepared for changing conditions. A prolonged shortage in the Colorado River Basin due to persistent drought could cause CAP to suffer a reduction in water diversions from the river.

Southwest Regional Climate Hub and California Subsidiary Hub Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies

This report describes the potential vulnerability of specialty crops, field crops, forests, and animal agriculture to climate-driven environmental changes. Here, vulnerability is defined as a function of exposure to climate change effects, sensitivity to these effects, and adaptive capacity. The exposure of specific sectors of the agricultural and forestry industries varies across the region because the Southwest is climatically and topographically diverse. There is also variability in the sensitivity of different systems to the effects of climate change.

Ten Years of Change at the Channel Islands

In 2003, California established thirteen marine protected areas (MPAs) in state waters around the northern Channel Islands, off the coast of Southern California. In 2007, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration extended these MPAs into federal waters of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. These areas, most of which are no-take marine reserves, were designed to help restore biodiversity and ecosystem health by protecting local marine life and habitats.