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CNHP awarded climate change adaptation project

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The Colorado Natural Heritage Program was awarded a multi-year project from the North Central Climate Science Center to study natural resource management decision-making under climate uncertainty. CNHP and NCCSC are part of the Warner College of Natural Resources.

The project, formally titled “Natural Resource Management Decision-Making under Climate Uncertainty: Building Social-Ecological Resilience in Southwestern Colorado,”  is a joint collaboration with several other institutes.

Renée Rondeau, ecologist and conservation planner with CNHP, is CSU’s principal investigator on the project and will be working closely with NCCSC Directors Jeffrey Morrisette and Dennis Ojima, as well as University of Montana, The Nature Conservancy, Mountain Studies Institute, and USGS-Fort Collins. Over the next few years the team will facilitate climate change adaptation that contributes to social-ecological resilience, ecosystem/species conservation, and sustainable human communities in southwestern Colorado while focusing on the Gunnison Basin and the San Juan Mountains. 

The group will develop a set of actionable and prioritized social/ecological adaptation strategies for vulnerable ecosystems and species based on best available science.  These adaptation strategies will incorporate the latest in climate science and must be useful and meaningful to natural resource managers and other stakeholders. 

The Gunnison and San Juan Basin’s ownership and economies revolve around ranches and private industry that relies on natural resources, US Forest Service, US National Parks, Bureau of Land Management, and tribal lands, and will be integral in the success of this project. 

The goal is that frameworks that are developed for this project could be applicable to other Western landscapes and will help guide communities in adapting to changes associated with a changing climate.  


Contact: Bryony Wardell
E-mail: Bryony.Wardell@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-2542