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Building Social and Ecological Resilience to Climate Change in Southwestern Colorado: Phase 2

Principal Investigator(s): 
Nina Burkardt, Fort Collins Science Center; Renee Rondeau, Colorado State University
Marcie Bidwell (Mountain Studies Institute); Betsy Neely (The Nature Conservancy); Renee Rondeau (Colorado State University, Colorado Natural Heritage Program); Laurie Yung (University of Montana); Over 100 other local cooperators and partners

In southwestern Colorado, land managers anticipate the impacts of climate change to include higher temperatures, more frequent and prolonged drought, accelerated snowmelt, larger and more intense fires, more extreme storms, and the spread of invasive species. These changes put livelihoods, ecosystems, and species at risk.

Focusing on communities in southwestern Colorado’s San Juan and Gunnison river basins, this project will expand opportunities for scientists, land managers, and affected residents to identify actions that can support resilience and adaptation in the face of changing climate conditions.

This project builds on the project “Building Social and Ecological Resilience to Climate Change in southwestern Colorado: Phase 1”. Phase 1 focused on developing integrated social-ecological science and adaptation strategies for four target landscapes: spruce-fir forests, pinyon-juniper woodlands, sagebrush scrublands, and seeps, springs and wetlands.

Phase 2 will further advance adaptation strategy development in the region and share the results with other communities, land managers, and decision-makers. Specifically, researchers will identify concrete actions that can be taken to carry out each adaptation strategy, and will develop solutions to address barriers identified by stakeholders in Phase 1 that could impede implementation. Ultimately, this project will result in landscape-scale conservation goals and actions that conserve key species, ecosystems, and resources, address the economic and social systems of local communities, and provide science resources for natural resource managers in the face of a changing climate.

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For data, information, products, and more, visit the NCCWSC project page and ScienceBase page for this project. 

: “Tomichi Creek Valley, Colorado - Credit: Alan Cressler”