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Building Climate Resiliency in the Lower Willamette Region of Western Oregon: Summary for Decision Makers

Stacy Vynne, Steve Adams, Roger Hamilton, and Bob Doppelt
Created: 1/14/2011 - Updated: 3/12/2019


In 2010, the Climate Leadership Initiative (CLI) engaged over 200 experts from the Lower Willamette region of western Oregon in a series of workshops called Climate Futures Forums. Individuals from the following counties participated: Benton, Clackamas, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, and Yamhill. Forum participant expertise expanded across the following systems: natural, built, economic, human, and cultural. Based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2007) modeling of two possible future emissions scenarios (“Business as Usual” and a greener scenario) for mid and end of century, the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute (OCCRI) developed downscaled projections of impacts for the Lower Willamette. These projections, coupled with other local research, provided the basis for the CLI Lower Willamette project.

The Climate Futures Forums had the following objectives:
• Assess regional climate change projections;
• Identify likely impacts to systems throughout the region; and
• Recommend strategies to prepare for those impacts.

CLI facilitated participant discussion to integrate strategies across the natural, built, economic, human, and cultural systems and ensure that climate change preparedness actions produce complementary benefits the different sectors within the systems as well as reduce conflicting costs. This document provides policy and decision makers with a summary of findings from CLI’s 2010 Lower Willamette project. The full report, which contains a detailed description of the Climate Futures Forums, the modeling process and projections, and the impacts and recommendations, is available at The complementary modeling projections report from OCCRI is also available.

Published On

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Regional / Subnational
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Capacity Building

Related Resources

Building Climate Resiliency in the Lower Willamette Region of Western Oregon

Photo attributed to Doug Kerr. Incorporated here under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. No endorsement by licensor implied.

Case Study
Sector Addressed: 
Conservation / Restoration
Development (socioeconomic)
Disaster Risk Management
Land Use Planning
Public Health
Rural / Indigenous Livelihoods
Transportation / Infrastructure
Water Resources

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.