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Individual Highlight

The Cold Water Climate Shield: Prioritizing High-value Aquatic Resources

Photo of Mapping provides insights into aquatic resources for conservation prioritization and restoration. USDA Forest ServiceMapping provides insights into aquatic resources for conservation prioritization and restoration. USDA Forest ServiceSnapshot : Native trout are culturally and ecologically important, but climate change is likely to shrink the cold-water environments they require. Much can be done to preserve these fish but efficient planning and targeting of conservation resources has been hindered by a lack of broad-scale datasets and precise information about which streams are most likely to support native trout populations later this century.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Isaak, Daniel J. Young, Michael K.
Luce, Charles H.  
Research Location : Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, California, New Mexico, Arizona
Research Station : Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS)
Year : 2015
Highlight ID : 837

Summary

Populations of many cold-water species are likely to decline this century with global warming, but declines will vary spatially and some populations will persist even under extreme climate change scenarios. Especially cold habitats could provide important refugia from both future environmental change and invasions by non-native species that prefer warmer waters. The Cold Water Climate Shield website hosts geospatial data and related information that describes specific locations of cold-water refuge streams for native Cutthroat Trout and Bull Trout across the northwestern U.S. Forecasts about the locations of refugia could enable the protection of key watersheds, be used to rally support among multiple stakeholders, and provide a foundation for planning climate-smart conservation networks that improve the odds of preserving native trout populations through the 21st century.

Forecasts of refuge locations could enable protection of key watersheds, be used to rally support among multiple stakeholders, and provide a foundation for climate-smart planning to preserve native trout through the 21st century.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Forest Service Northern Region (1)
  • Intermountain Region (4)
  • Pacific Northwest Region (6)
  • Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative
  • NOAA Fisheries
  • Nez Perce Tribe
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • US Geological Survey