Understanding climate change trends on tribal reservations
The Rocky Mountain Research Station, in partnership with the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) of Montana, and the University of Leeds, UK, are working together to protect or restore relationships between residents of the Flathead Indian Reservation and the Mission Mountain landscape within the reservation. Recent studies have focused on defining Tribal Forestry research priorities and how the relationships tribal members have with the landscape influence public attitudes towards CSKT Forestry tactics and policies regarding the maintenance of ecosystem health through vegetation and fire management. Current focus is on how reservation residents and tribal resource managers perceive forecasted climate change trends concerning elements of the landscape that the tribe has been dependent upon for generations, such as water, wildlife, vegetation, aesthetics, and traditional landscapes.
This research increases the potential for protecting environmental and human well-being for future populations of people living on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana. It also provides a foundation for creative approaches to addressing ecosystem health on the larger landscape, and paves the way for more collaborative work between the CSKT and the Forest Service. Future research will focus on exploring the role of forecasted climate change effects on water and fire adaptability of current species.
Several journal articles, conference proceedings papers, and two book chapters on methods and outcomes are available at www.leopold.wilderness.net.
Forest Service Partners