Crown of the Continent and Climate Change

The Crown of the Continent region’s diverse habitats, vast expanses of public lands, and connections to other wild lands should make the region more likely to successfully respond to the changing climate.

In this report, we studied the possible effects of climate change on two “snow-pack” dependent sectors of the economy – downhill skiing and recreational fishing.  These sectors are very likely to be negatively affected by climate change, which in this region includes rising temperatures, more rain, and less moisture stored in snowpack.  These sectors are harbingers of potential impacts on other sectors—such as irrigated agriculture and forestry—that are vulnerable to changes in snowpack, river flows, and temperature.

Through a combination of quantitative techniques (economic impact analysis) and qualitative methods (interviews), an interesting story unfolds on the impacts of climate change, and how these industries will need to adapt in order to survive.  We conclude the report with a number of management recommendations.

Report, Conclusion, Socioeconomic Profile, and Map

Ray Rasker, Ph.D.

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