Tribal Profiles, Fact Sheets and Climate Planning Tools

These climate change resources include a wide-range of materials, from profiles of tribal climate change efforts around the United States, fact sheets that focus on climate change impacts, adaptation strategies, and other relevant topics, and planning resources for developing climate change vulnerability assessments and adaptation plans. Additional tribal climate change planning resources can be found here:

Several key resources released in 2018 include:

Title Description Categorysort descending Geography Website
Moving Forward Together: Building Tribal Resiliency and Partnerships

The four member tribes of the Upper Snake River Tribes (USRT) Foundation have already noticed shifts in species and habitats driven by increasing temperatures and changing precipitation patterns. Such changes have resulted in drying sagebrush steppe habitat, extended wildfire seasons, less winter precipitation falling as snow, earlier spring run-off, lower summer streamflows, higher water temperatures, reduced flow from springs/seeps, proliferation of invasive weeds, and decreasing productivity of rangeland—all of which have the potential to affect the tribes' respective cultures, spirituality, and lifeways. In 2016, the Foundation undertook a collaborative Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (CCVA), partnering with external groups Adaptation International, the University of Washington, and Oregon State University. The project evaluated the relative climate change vulnerability of some of the species, habitats, and resource issues that are important and valuable to USRT member tribes.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Ecosystems, Resource Management, Invasive Species, Food Production Idaho, Oregon, Nevada Link
The Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe Undertakes Innovative Action to Reduce the Causes of Climate Change

The Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe—a federally recognized Native American tribe in California—was one of 16 communities selected as a 2015–2016 Climate Action Champion by the Obama Administration for exceptional work in response to climate change. The Tribe began its strategic climate action planning in 2008 and has become a regional leader in greenhouse gas reductions and community resiliency measures. To date, the Tribe has reduced energy consumption from 2008 levels by 35 percent and has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2018, utilizing a range of approaches—including aggressive energy efficiency upgrades, developing on-site renewable energy (biomass, solar, fuel cells, grid battery storage), and switching to green fuels (electricity and biodiesel).

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Energy Production, Green Fuels, Sustainable Housing, Disaster Risk Reduction Northern California Link
Suquamish Build Resilience to Ocean Acidification Through Education

Today, seafood, game, and traditional plants remain essential to the Suquamish culture and diet. Around 20 percent of the Tribe's members help support their families by earning income from the harvest of fish and shellfish, and proceeds from geoduck clam harvests support elders' programs. However, decades of development have significantly degraded these species' habitats, which reduces their ability to withstand predicted impacts of climate change. In 2010, biologists working in the Tribe's Fisheries Department began discussing the threats of ocean acidification and climate change with the Suquamish Shellfish Committee. In consultation with the Shellfish Committee, the Tribal Council adopted two strategies for immediate action: (1) use the K–12 educational system to help change human behaviors that harm ecosystems; and (2) develop computerized zooplankton imaging and identification tools researchers can use to detect and monitor changes at the base of the marine food web. The Tribe is also pursuing another strategy to study the impacts of ocean acidification: they are building tools that facilitate the visual study of zooplankton.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Fish Health, Water Health, Ocean Acidification, Education Washington state, Puget Sound Link
Tulalip Tribes: Saving Their Sacred Salmon

Fisheries managers identified pollution from manure runoff at local dairy farms as a major cause of salmon mortality. Historically, many farmers held the view that tribal fishing rights imposed limits on their farms and increased operation costs. The Tulalip Tribes sought a mutually beneficial solution to resolve this conflict. Collaboration among the Sno/Sky Agricultural Alliance, Northwest Chinook Recovery, and Tulalip Energy Corporation eventually established Qualco Energy as a shared energy cooperative. The group arranged for area farmers to collect livestock manure and agricultural waste in tanks, keeping it out of the streams. The waste products are then fed into an anaerobic biodigester to generate methane gas. The clean-burning methane is sold to produce green energy, and the digester effluent is stored in lagoons and returned to the farmers for irrigating their fields. The salmon-friendly energy is then sold to the Snohomish County Public Utility District. In 2010, these groups collaborated to launch the Sustainable Lands Strategy (SLS) to build resilience through cooperative planning at the basin scale.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Fish Health, Water, Biodiversity Conservation, Energy Production Washington state Link
The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Combine Mitigation with Capacity Building

Members of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa believe that it is the obligation of the community to preserve and protect cultural resources for seven generations into the future. Tribal leaders and staff have committed to reducing the Band’s contributions to the greenhouse gases that lead to warming through developing and promoting projects and policies that advance sustainability and energy efficiency. In 2007, the Fond du Lac Reservation Business Committee ratified the Kyoto Protocol, pledging to obtain 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2020.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Food Insecurity, Flooding, Energy Production Minnesota Link
Relocating Kivalina

Temperatures in the Arctic are rising at more than twice the rate of the global average. Results include violent ocean storms, flooding, and erosion beneath the homes of Kivalina—impacts that have been traumatic to the barrier island's Alaskan Iñupiaq community. Sea ice that once protected the island from winter storms no longer forms early enough in the fall to prevent rising waters and storm surge from reaching the island's shores. Patchy sea ice also makes winter travel and hunting difficult and dangerous. Residents and others are making concerted efforts to move the community to safety.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Permafrost Melt, Infrastructure Damage, Community Health, Relocation Alaska. Arctic Link
Mescalero Apache Tribe Adapts to a Warmer and Drier Climate

The Sacramento Mountains—home of the Mescalero Apache Tribe (MAT) in southern New Mexico—are experiencing a shift to a warmer and drier climate. Local meteorological records reveal that three of the area's worst 10 droughts and some of the highest temperatures ever recorded in the region all occurred since 2011. Trends show that the monsoon season is arriving later in the year, and the average duration and frequency of monsoon rains is decreasing. Additionally, the average duration and intensity of winter snowfall has decreased, reducing the Tribe's water supply and negatively impacting its Ski Apache ski resort. In the face of these environmental challenges, members of the tribe are looking for the best ways to keep their forests and waters healthy. They also have a new interest in growing healthy and sustainable foods for their community. MAT tribal government and managers are working with a range of federal, state, and local government agencies and academia to maintain forest health and resiliency.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Resource Management, Food Insecurity, Forest Health New Mexico Link
Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability (CRAVE)

As more Tribal Nations complete climate adaptation plans, and begin more in-depth resource analysis, they can find existing vulnerability assessments by geographic area, assessment target, sponsoring agency, and other factors. Registered users can also enter basic information about a vulnerability assessment, enabling colleagues, partners, and others to learn and benefit from their work. Existing Tribal Nations contributions may be found in the Other Regions section of the location-based search.

vulnerability, assessment, adaption, climate change National Link
WindNinja

WindNinja is a computer program that computes spatially varying wind fields for wildland fire application. Wind is one of the most important environmental factors affecting wildland fire behavior. Complex terrain in fire-prone landscapes induces local changes in the near-surface wind that are not predicted well by either operational weather models or expert judgment. WindNinja was developed to help fire managers predict these winds.

weather, weather prediction, wildland fire, wildfire preparedness, wildland firefighters, mountainous terrain, fire-prone landscapes, fire management National, mountainous terrain Link

Pages