Adaptation Plans

Tribes throughout the United States are developing and implementing tribal climate change adaptation plans and climate vulnerability assessments. Search this list for examples of tribal climate change adaptation plans, as well as other plans and planning resources that may be useful reference guides. 

Titlesort descending Description Category Geography Website
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes - Climate Change Strategic Plan

Plan includes climate change impacts, vulnerabilities and risks and adaptation strategies for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in northwest Montana. 2013

Tribal, Adaptation Plan Northwest, Montana Link
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

The people of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) have a long history of living in the southern portion of the Columbia Plateau. The area has a diverse array of natural resources and the Tribes’ connection with those resources can be seen through their on‐going connection with their First Foods. Water, salmon, game (deer and elk), roots (cous), and berries (huckleberry) are not just food sources, but are integral to the cultural, spiritual, and community identity of the Tribes. These foods depend on healthy and vibrant landscapes to thrive and those landscapes are changing as the climate of the region shifts. CTUIR is already experiencing some of those changes. In order to respond to and better plan for the future, the CTUIR took action to assess the climate related vulnerability of key resources and assets that are important to tribal life. The results of this work are summarized in this report.  

climate change adaptation, strategies, assessment, first foods, agriculture, forest health Columbia plateau, Columbia River Basin, Oregon Link
Flood and Erosion Hazard Assessment for the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe

The Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe initiated a pilot study to assess the impacts of anticipated climate changes to both tribal infrastructure and the Sauk river ecosystem that supports fish and wildlife critical to the tribe. The Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe’s homeland encompasses a broad area including the Sauk and Cascade River watersheds in northwestern Washington. The Tribe wanted to know whether the warming climate could worsen flood and erosion risks, and whether changes could adversely impact salmon habitat. This report focuses on flood an erosion risks and how they may be impacted by climate change. The objectives of this report are to: (1) describe the hydrology and geomorphology the Sauk River near the reservation, (2) evaluate available information on potential for climate change to affect future flood flows in the Sauk River basin, (2) document historical changes in river channel and floodplain characteristics of the Sauk-Suiattle Reach, and (3) evaluate the near-term and future threats to tribal infrastructure posed by Sauk River streambank erosion and flooding.

Assessment, climate change, planning, infrastructure, erosion, flood, habitat Northwestern Washington Link
Fond Du Lac 2008 Integrated Resource Management Plan

The purpose of the Fond Du Lac Band's Integrated Resource Management Plan is to manage the Band's resources effectively for future generations. The Integrated Resource Management Plan will be used to address current and future management options of the Band. The Integrated Resource Management Plan has been developed by a group of people dedicated to the protection, enhancement, and management of Fond Du Lac's resources.

climate change impacts, natural resources, adaptation Lake Superior, Upper midwest and Great Lakes, Minnesota Link
Forest and Water Climate Adaptation: A Plan for the Nisqually Watershed

The Nisqually River Basin is a vital part of the Washington landscape. Nestled between Tacoma and Olympia, it is the traditional home of the Nisqually Indian Tribe, and contains the small towns of Ashford, Elbe, Mineral, Eatonville, Yelm, Roy and McKenna. Despite close proximity to urban centers, the watershed remains in good environmental condition. Nearly 80% of the Nisqually River’s riparian areas are under permanent protection. It is also the only river in the United States to have its headwaters protected by a national park (Mount Rainier National Park) and its estuary protected by a national wildlife refuge (Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge). Community members place a strong priority on protecting valuable natural resources as shown by continued native salmon runs, 300,000 acres of forestland and high quality water.

adaption, watershed, mitigation, river, basin, wildlife Washington, Nisqually Watershed Link
Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe-Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan

Assessment and plan for the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe in Washington includes information about the changing climate conditions, priority resources of concern, and actions to increase resilience. 2013

Tribal, Adaptation Plan, Climate Change, Vulnerability Assessment Northwest Link
Karuk Climate Adaptation Plan

"Within Karuk Aboriginal Territory on the mid Klamath, the effects of climate change including changes in precipitation patterns, decreased snowpack increasing droughts, increasing frequency and severity of wildfires, and disease and pest outbreaks are immediate and occuring now."

tribal adaptation plan, climate change, management, restoration, traditional knowledges Northern California Link
Karuk Eco-Cultural Resources Management Plan

The Department of Natural Resources Eco-Cultural Resources Management Plan (ECRMP) is intended to guide future management of natural resources within the Karuk Aboriginal Territory and beyond. The ECRMP is an integrated resource management plan (IRMP) developed under the authority of the National Indian Forest Resources Management Act. Though this Act limits the implementation of IRMP’s to Tribal Trust lands, the authority provided in 43 USC Chapter 35 Federal Land Policy and Management provides for the “Coordination of plans for National Forest System lands with Indian land use planning and management programs for the purposes of development and revision”.

This should allow for coordination of the ECRMP with the Klamath and Six Rivers National Forests Land and Resource Management Plan revisions that will be occurring soon. With this coordination we should be able to once again manage the Aboriginal Territory in a manner consistent with our cultural and natural heritage. The Department of Natural Resources welcomes comments from the Tribal Membership and Descendants to help ensure that the final plan will provide lasting benefits for generations to come. We will be developing the draft provided below in consideration of the comments received to provide a final draft for council review, NEPA compliance, and approvals.

cultural resource management Northwest Link
Karuk Tribe Climate Vulnerability Assessment Assessing Vulnerabilities From the Increased Frequency of High Severity Fire

Ongoing and future ecological outcomes of climate change in the Mid Klamath region of California include changes in precipitation patterns, increasing droughts, increasing frequency and severity of wildfires, and more significant disease and pest outbreaks (Butz et al. 2015, Garfin et al. 2014, Mote et al. 2014). Among the most pressing of the local dimensions of climate change taking place within Karuk ancestral territory is the increased risk of high severity fire (Lenihan et al. 2008). For the last thousand years, forested areas have become adapted to frequent occurrence of relatively low intensity fire from human and natural ignitions (Perry et al. 2011). These fire adapted forests burned in smaller overall areas in mosaic patterns that contained patches of high intensity fire (Mohr et al. 2000, Skinner et al. 2006, Perry et al. 2011).

adaption plan, Klamath, droughts, wildfire Northern California Link
Lummi Nation Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Plan: 2016-2026

"The purpose of the Lummi Nation Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Plan: 2016-2026 (CCMAP) is to evaluate the potential impacts of anthropogenic climate change on the Lummi Indian Reservation (Reservation), Lummi Usual and Accustomed Grounds and Stations (U&A), and Lummi Traditional Territories and to present both mitigation strategies that may reduce the causes of climate change and adaptation strategies that may minimize climate change impacts that cannot be avoided."

climate change, adaptation, mitigation Northwest Link
Makah Tribe’s Climate Resilience, Adaptation, and Mitigation Planning

2014 BIA Funding for Climate Change Impacts Assessment. 2015 BIA Funding for intertidal surveys and OA/CC Literature Review. 2017 DOE Funding for Climate Adaptation Planning

adaptation, resilience, mitigation, assessment, funding, climate change Makah Link
Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians Climage Change Adaptation Plan

The Gun Lake Tribe currently holds over 838 acres of agricultural, forested, commercial, and residential properties. Many valuable cultural and natural resources exist within these properties. The Gun Lake Tribe realizes that these impacts are not solely within Tribal properties, but that these impacts will affect the entire Great Lakes Region and Mother Earth. The Gun Lake Tribe acknowledges the importance of actions to mitigate the causes of climate change. With this understanding, the Gun Lake Tribe has assessed the vulnerability and effects climate change will have on the following culturally significant natural resources.

Great Lakes, fish, climate change, mitigation, natural resources Great Lakes Region Link
Metlakatla Indian Community Climate Change Adaptation Plan

The Metlakatla Indian Community Climate Change Adaptation Plan was composed to provide support to the Metlakatla Indian Community as they are impacted by a changing climate on the Annette Islands Reserve (AIR). Throughout this document the Metlakatla Indian Community will be referred to as “the Tribe”, this term will be used to describe the entire Metlakatla Indian Community. The Tribe acknowledges the changing climate and advocates addressing the potential effects through the integration of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and scientific evidence. This document will include the background on the AIR, local interviews on TEK, resource analysis, vulnerability assessment, and potential adaptation strategies to assist the Tribe in preparation for a changing climate.

Tribal Adaptation Plan, climate change, TEK, vulnerability assessment, adaptation Alaska (Southeast) Link
Michigan Tribal Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Planning: Project Report

Michigan Tribes are currently experiencing the impacts of climate change: warmer average annual air and surface water temperatures, more volatile weather characterized by extreme precipiation events, decreases in duration and extremity of winter temperatures, and increases in duration of summer temperatures. These changes impact Michigan Tribes in numerous ways both directly and indirectly. Tribes are concerned with climate change and how to plan for potential and undefined impacts on natural features, traditional ways, public health, and infrastructure. This planning document is the result of a cooperative effort among the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc., and nine federally recognized Tribes in Michigan (participating Tribes): Bay Mills Indian Community, Lac Vieux Desert Band of Ottawa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Potawatomi (Gun Lake Tribe), Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

Public health, climate adaptation planning, traditional knowledge, tribal resources Upper midwest and Great Lakes, Michigan Link
Mitigi idash Nibi: A Climate Adaptation Plan for the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians

In 2014, the Model Forest Policy Program (MFPP), Climate Solutions University (CSU), and the Red Lake Department of Natural Resources (RLDNR) came together to create a climate adaptation plan for the forest and water systems of the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota. Development of the plan came about because all parties, led by MFPP, recognized the critical need for local community resilience against the impacts of climate change by protecting forest and water resources. This climate adaptation plan for the Red Lake Reservation presents the results of a team effort, deep and broad information gathering, critical analysis and thoughtful planning.

Tribal Adaptation Plan, forests, water, development, resilience, climate change, adaptation Minnesota Link
National Inuit Climate Change Strategy

"The National Inuit Climate Change Strategy identifiesthe coordinated actionsthat are necessary within five priority areas to meet our adaptation, mitigation and resilience-building needs in the face of rapid climate change, and a quickly evolving climate policy environment. The Strategy lays out practical objectives to advance Inuit-driven climate actions, and guidance on how to work with us to protect our way of life and support the sustainability of our communities in the face of our changing climate reality. Case studies illustrating the kinds of Inuit-led climate initiatives and partnerships we are seeking are highlighted throughout the Strategy." 

climate change adaptation, mitigation, resilience, sustainability, community Inuvialuit Settlement Region Link
Native Village of Georgetown Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

This climate change vulnerability assessment documents climate change impacts and trends that have been observed along the Kuskokwim River. It was commissioned by the Georgetown Tribal Council to help inform their efforts to re-settle the Native Village of Georgetown, and to provide a starting place for working with neighboring communities to plan for climate change. Information was collected through a variety of methods, including interviews with elders and the collection of Traditional Knowledge, mapping and graphing of environmental data, review of published literature, and interviews with local scientists and natural resource managers. This climate change vulnerability assessment was created to inform future development of the Native Village of Georgetown. Much of the information contained in this report, as well as the companion Climate Science Primer 1 specific to the area, can be used to inform efforts to prepare for climate impacts in neighboring villages and throughout the region. For more information, visit:

climate change vulnerability assessment, adaptation Alaska Link
Navajo Nation Climate-Change Vulnerability Assessment for Priority Wildlife Species

Vulnerability assessment for priority wildlife and plant species and habitats on the Navajo landscape. Golden Eagle, Mule Deer, Desert Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Lion, and American Black Bear. Pinyon Pine, Yucca spp., Mesa Verde Cactus, Navajo Sage, and Salt Cedar (Tamarisk). Navajo Nation Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, 2013

Tribal, Adaptation Plan Southwest, Arizona, United States Link
Nome Tribal Climate Adaptation Plan

The Nome Eskimo Community (NEC), in collaboration with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP), developed a climate adaptation plan with the Nome-based tribes. This includes tribal members of NEC, Village of Solomon, Native Village of Council, and King Island Native Community. The project goals were to familiarize tribal members with climate science and local knowledge, provide an opportunity to identify and discuss climate impacts and adaptation strategies, develop a plan, and share information with other rural Alaska and Native communities. This project was funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Community values for the Nome-based tribes, which provided a basis for the climate adaptation strategies, centered on maintaining cultural activities, fostering community and relationships, and ensuring healthy people and ecosystems.

climate change adaptation plan Alaska Link
Nooksack Indian Tribe Natural Resources Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

The climate of the Nooksack River watershed is changing, and is projected to continue to change throughout the 21st century. In addition to rising temperatures and exaggerated patterns of seasonal precipitation, the watershed is likely to experience greater wildfire risk, more severe winter flooding, rising sea levels, and increasing ocean acidification. These changes will have profound impacts on the watershed’s plants, animals, and ecosystems, including changes in species distributions, abundances, and productivity; shifts in the timing of life cycle events such as flowering, breeding, and migration; and changes in the distribution and composition of ecological communities. Understanding which species and habitats are expected to be vulnerable to climate change, and why, is a critical first step toward identifying strategies and actions for maintaining priority species and habitats in the face of change. The University of Washington Climate Impacts Group worked collaboratively with the Nooksack Indian Tribe’s Natural Resource Department to evaluate the climate change vulnerability of priority species and habitats for the Tribe. This report describes the approach taken to assess vulnerability and summarizes key findings from the assessment’s results. The report also includes an appendix of fact sheets describing individual assessment details for each of the species and habitat types evaluated; these fact sheets highlight each species’ key climate sensitivities as well as data gaps of importance for understanding their vulnerability. Together, the information provided in this assessment offers a rigorous foundation for future climate adaptation efforts aimed at addressing climate risks to the Nooksack Tribe’s priority species and habitats.

tribal adaptation plan, assessment, climate change, flooding, rising sea levels, rising temperatures, ecosystems Washington Link
Oyate Omniciye’ Oglala Lakota Plan - The Official Regional Sustainable Development Plan of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

The path towards creating a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development began with leaders of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in March 2011 passing Resolution 11-26XB, to promote and protect the health, welfare and culture of the Tribe. They affirmed all participants in the Oyate Omniciyé | Oglala Lakota planning process will be working toward cultural preservation, sustainable development, enhancement of environmental programs, etc., including climate change adaptation to maintain Tribal lifeways. This journey continues as the planning team hosts community meetings and interviews with program directors and other stakeholders.

climate change, adaptation, traditional knowledges, cultural preservation, sustainable development Plains, Midwest Link
Red Lake Band of Chippewa Climate Adaptation Plan

Adaptation plan developed by the Red Lake Band of Chippewa, focused on water and forest resources. 2014

Chippewa, Red Lake, Adaptation plan, forest management, water resource, traditional ecological knowledges, climate science Minnesota, Midwest Link
Relocation Report: Newtok to Mertarvik

Strategic Management Planfor the relocation of the village of Newtok to a new site at Mertarvik. Newtok is a growing 350-person coastal village fronting on the Ninglick River in western Alaska. The Ninglick River is rapidly eroding and consuming community land and facilities as it advances. 2011.

Tribal, Adaptation Plan Alaska, Coastal Link
Resilience Dialogues- Final Synthesis Report Menominee Reservation, USA

This report captures the key outcomes from the Menominee Reservation Resilience Dialogues process, which took place between May 15 and May 26, 2017. The resilience Dialogues partners with communities to explore their risks from climate variability and change. Using a professionally facilitated, online process to connect community leaders to a network of vetted national experts, the Resilience Dialogues helps them work together to understand risks and lay the groundwork for long-term resilience. The service connects communities with the most appropriate resources, whether from federal agencies, regional networks, or the private sector.

climate change impacts, cultural resources, forest management, adaptation, development Upper midwest and Great Lakes, Wisconsin Link
Shaktoolik, Alaska: Climate Change Adaptation for an At-Risk Community

Adaptation plan outlines next steps for the community of Shaktoolik, AK, as it responds to threats, primarily erosion and flooding. 2014.

Tribal, Adaptation Plan Alaska Link

The Shinnecock Environmental Department and the Natural Resource Committee had begun researching climate change, and particularly the impacts on surface water and ocean acidification, because of tribal shellfish cultivation. The next large concern was the increasing shoreline erosion, which is contributing to the loss of trees. The staff began researching other climate change issues that were impacting the region as well. Climate change is included in the Shinnecock Nation’s strategic plan.

climate change, adaptation, mitigation, TEK, tradition, resources, marine resources, conservation, management, planning, policy New York, Northeast Link
Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe 2014 Hazard Mitigation Plan

The Disaster Mitigation Act (DMA; Public Law 106-390) is the latest federal legislation enacted to encourage and promote proactive, pre-disaster planning as a condition of receiving financial assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Act. The DMA emphasizes planning for disasters before they occur. Under the DMA, a pre-disaster hazard mitigation program and new requirements for the national post-disaster hazard mitigation grant program were established.

adaption, management, mitigation Washington Link
Stillaguamish Tribe Natural Resources Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

This report describes an assessment of the climate change vulnerability of priority species and habitats for the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians. In addition to describing our approach and resulting sensitivity scores and vulnerability rankings, we provide an appendix of quick reference fact sheets for each of the assessed species and habitat types, highlighting their primary climate sensitivities and research needs. These estimates of climate vulnerability, underlying climate sensitivities, and key information gaps should help lay the foundation for the Tribe’s future climate adaptation and research efforts.

Adaptation Plan Northwest Link
Susanville Indian Rancheria: Integrated Resource Management Plan

This IRMP is a strategic, vision-based, long-range management plan based on Tribal member’s interests, needs, and concerns for their lands and natural resources. It provides guidelines for strategic resource management in order to restore, preserve, and manage these resources for future generations.

resources, management, climate change, adaptation California Link
Swinomish Climate Change Initiative: Climate Adaptation Action Plan

Adaptation plan for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Cmmunity in northwest Washington. 2010

Tribal, Adaptation Plan Northwest, Washington Link