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Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for the Chugach National Forest and the Kenai Peninsula

Photo of A flooded stream on the Chugach National Forest. John S. Lang, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.A flooded stream on the Chugach National Forest. John S. Lang, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Snapshot : The Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment is being used to help revise the Forest Management Plan for the Chugach National Forest. The assessment provides scenarios for a variety of ecological and socially important topics such as snowpack, which affects winter recreation, and salmon which contribute significantly to the lifestyle and character of the region.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Hollingsworth, Teresa 
Research Location : Chugach National Forest, Alaska
Research Station : Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW)
Year : 2016
Highlight ID : 1155


The Chugach National Forest and Kenai Peninsula climate change vulnerability assessment evaluates the effects of future climate change on a select set of ecological systems and ecosystem services. This vulnerability assessment explores potential consequences of climate change for: (a) snowpack and glaciers, and winter recreation, (b) coastal landscapes and associated environments, (c) vegetation, (d) salmon, and (e) a select set of wildlife species. Using scenario modeling, the researchers found that during the next half century, directional change associated with warming temperatures and increased precipitation will result in dramatic reductions in snow-cover at low elevations, continued retreat of glaciers, potentially an increase in abundance of pink salmon, shrub and tree expansion into higher elevations, and potential expansion of invasive plants particularly along roads, trails, and waterways.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Chugach National Forest
  • Forest Service Region 10
  • Defenders of Wildlife
  • Pacific Northwest Region Science and Technology
  • U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and Aluetian and Bering Sea Islands Landscape Conservation Cooperative
  • U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science Center
  • U.S. National Park Service Southwest Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Network
  • University of Alaska Anchorage,University of Alaska Fairbanks

Program Areas