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Climate Change and Our Natural Resources: A Report from the Treaty Tribes in Western Washington

Northwest Treaty Tribes
Created: 8/15/2017 - Updated: 1/08/2019


Our ancestral territories stretch from the Cascade Mountains westward to the Pacific Ocean. They encompass diverse subregions with distinct ecosystems that face both shared and unique challenges in the face of climate change. A wide variety of plants and animals have sustained our communities for thousands of years, providing food, fuel, shelter, medicines, and materials for commerce. Our natural resources form the foundation for our spiritual life, sacred ceremonies, and community cohesion.

In the last 150 years our homelands and waters have profoundly changed. Salmon and steelhead runs that are central to our culture and economy are at a fraction of their historical populations. Many lowland old-growth forests have been logged. In some parts of the region, natural shorelines have been replaced by concrete and hundreds of acres of shell sh beds are too polluted for harvest. These changes have contributed to declines in natural resources important to our communities.

Today climate change is affecting our environment and the natural resources we depend upon in countless ways. This report focuses on climate impacts to the ecosystems that play central roles in our cultures, health, identity, and lifeways. It also introduces a selection of potential responses and adaptation strategies.

Published On

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Community / Local
Regional / Subnational
Sector Addressed: 
Rural / Indigenous Livelihoods
Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Culture / communities
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Capacity Building
Monitor climate change impacts and adaptation efficacy

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