Bear River Climate Change Adaptation Workshop Summary

Joan Degiorgio, Gregg Garfin, Dave Gori, Joel Tuhy
Created: 12/16/2013 -


The Nature Conservancy (TNC) convened a two-day climate adaptation workshop for the Bear River Basin on May 26 and 27, 2010, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The goal of the workshop was to identify management strategies that will help native plants, animals and ecosystems adapt to a changing climate and lay the groundwork for adaptation action. Thirty-nine participants representing 20 public agencies, private organizations, and academic institutions attended the workshop.

The objectives of the workshop were to:

  1. Provide information about the observed and projected effects of climate change in the Bear River Basin.
  2. Introduce a framework for landscape-scale climate change adaptation planning for application to the Bear River Basin and other important conservation areas.
  3. Assess the impacts of climate change on high-priority species and ecosystems.
  4. Identify strategic actions to reduce the adverse impacts of climate change.
  5. Identify opportunities for ongoing learning and collaboration for climate adaptation in the Bear River Basin.

Over the course of two days, managers, scientists and conservation practitioners identified adaptation strategies under two climate change scenarios for two conservation features: Bear River wetlands and the Bonneville cutthroat trout.

Key outcomes of the workshop were:

  1. A shared understanding of the current and potential future effects of climate change, through development of conceptual models, on Bear River wetlands and Bonneville cutthroat trout.
  2. A set of strategic actions that can be implemented to promote resilience and realignment of Bear River wetlands and Bonneville cutthroat trout in the face of climate change.
  3. A discussion of opportunities to implement the identified strategic actions.
  4. A list of research and monitoring needs for climate adaptation in the Bear River Basin for Bonneville cutthroat trout and oxbow wetlands.
  5. Recognition among participants of the urgent need to take action to prepare for a changing climate.

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The Nature Conservancy's New Mexico Conservation Science Program works with public and private agencies and institutions on ecological management, conservation planning, and scientific assessments to further its mission to “preserve the plants, animals, and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.”


Regional / Subnational
Sector Addressed
Conservation / Restoration
Land Use Planning
Water Resources
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Capacity Building
Host adaptation training or planning workshop
Create stakeholder engagement processes to develop and implement adaptation strategies
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Species of concern
Water supply
Habitat/Biome Type