Climate Change Adaptation Workshop for Natural Resource Managers in the Gunnison Basin: Summary
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) convened a two-day workshop entitled Climate Change Adaptation Workshop for Natural Resource Managers in the Gunnison Basin on December 2-3, 2009 in Gunnison, Colorado. 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 their implementation in the Gunnison Basin. Fifty-seven representatives of 20 state and federal agencies, local governments, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations participated.
The objectives of the workshop were to:
- Provide background information on climate change as it applies to the Gunnison Basin.
- Introduce a framework for landscape-scale climate change adaptation planning for use at this workshop and as a tool that can be used in other landscapes.
- Assess the impacts of climate change on a set of high-priority species, ecosystems and natural processes selected by workshop organizers and participants.
- Identify strategic actions that will reduce climate change impacts.
- Identify opportunities for ongoing learning, collaboration, and implementation of on-the-ground climate change adaptation projects in the Gunnison Basin.
Over the course of two days, managers, scientists and conservation practitioners identified adaptation strategies under two climate change scenarios – one moderate, and one more extreme – for three conservation features: Gunnison Sage-grouse, Gunnison headwaters, and alpine wetlands ecosystem.
Key outcomes of the workshop were:
- A shared understanding of the known current and potential future effects of climate change, through development of conceptual models, on Gunnison Sage-grouse, Gunnison headwaters, and alpine wetlands.
- Set of strategic actions that can be implemented to promote resilience and realignment of Gunnison Sage-grouse, Gunnison headwaters and alpine wetlands in the face of climate change.
- A list of opportunities to implement the identified strategic actions successfully.
- A list of research and monitoring needs for climate adaptation in the Gunnison Basin for the Gunnison Sage-grouse, Gunnison headwaters, and alpine wetlands.
- Recognition among participants of the urgent need to take action to prepare for a changing climate.
- A list of recommended next steps to be taken by natural resource managers of the Gunnison Basin.