Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians Natural Resources Climate Change Adaptation Plan
in 2015, the Stillaguamish Tribe’s Natural Resources Department partnered with the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group (CIG) to complete a climate change vulnerability assessment for 57 species and 10 habitats important to the Stillaguamish Tribe. The Stillaguamish Tribe Natural Resources Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (Krosby et al. 2016) evaluated the potential impacts of climate change on a variety of birds, mammals, fishes, reptiles, and amphibians, as well as a wide range of marine, freshwater, and terrestrial habitats. The assessment found that vulnerability will vary considerably across species, with some becoming extremely vulnerable by the 2080s while others remain stable or even increase in abundance (Krosby et al. 2016). All habitats were estimated to become moderately to highly vulnerable by the 2050s.
The Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians Natural Resources Climate Change Adaptation Plan completes the next major step in preparing for climate change. Developed by Natural Resources Department staff with support from CIG, the plan identifies 59 strategies and 190 actions, organized by habitat type and inclusive of outreach and education, that are expected to help species and habitats important to the Stillaguamish Tribe become more resilient to the impacts of climate change. These actions span a range of activities consistent with best practices for conserving biodiversity under climate change and the current work of the Natural Resources Department, including planning, restoration, data collection, monitoring, and consultation.
The adaptation plan also includes new activities not currently reflected in the Natural Resources Department’s scope of work. This includes experimenting with planting native species to compete with invasive species post-fire, monitoring phenological changes and species interactions in riparian and aquatic species that may be affected by climate change, and identifying and protecting ocean acidification 'refugia', i.e., areas that are naturally resilient to ocean acidification (including kelp and eelgrass beds). Partnerships will play a critical role in implementing these activities within the Stillaguamish Watershed and, when relevant, the area ceded by the Tribe under the Treaty of Point Elliot.