Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska Climate Change Adaptation Plan
Tlingit & Haida began to seek information and studies on climate change in Southeast Alaska to fully understand its impacts to our tribal citizens and our way of life. In a national technical report on climate change, there were only two pages on Southeast Alaska and climate change impacts. In addition, Tlingit & Haida requested information on Southeast climate change from local scientists, the University of Alaska, U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Forest Service; and it was determined that there is currently little information specific to the Southeast Alaska region. However, what is known is that climate change is having adverse impacts on our customary and traditional hunting, fishing, and gathering (“subsistence”) resources. Rising average global temperatures, rising sea level, increases in ocean acidification, and the increased frequency and severity of storms have brought the effects of climate change to the forefront. Water quality in Alaska has been of concern for some time now. Climate change is believed to have an adverse effect in our salmon streams, causing the waters to warm and effecting salmon eggs and fry. Climate change also has an impact on the influx of invasive plant species.
Tlingit & Haida has worked to determine what changing climate conditions will occur in southeast Alaska and potentially affect all southeast Tribes; and prioritized each area of concern with a ranking based off of vulnerability and importance to the citizens and culture alike. The following document is an effort in the next step; where a matrix was developed to determine what areas have the highest probability of impact and what monitoring or mitigation plans could be put in place to address those impacts.