Browsing Climate and Energy by Title
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- ItemOpen AccessBalancing energy development with fish and wildlife(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2014-09) Belinda, Steve, speaker; Belinda, Steve, moderator; International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, producerIncreased energy development such as oil, gas, solar, wind and geothermal are threatening public-lands hunting and fishing opportunities across the country. In the past 15 years, more than 40 million acres of the West have been leased for development. Recently, demands for renewable energy production have drastically compounded the issue by creating a "land rush" on areas available for development. Unfortunately, many locations pressured for energy development also hold some of the nation's best hunting for mule deer, elk, pronghorn and sage grouse, in addition to blue-ribbon fishing for trout. Hastily developed energy projects can dramatically affect fish and game populations, as seen in the Atlantic Rim region of Wyoming. The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) supports responsible energy development and has worked to ensure development proceeds in a way that sustains and conserves fish and wildlife populations and sustainable opportunities for hunting and fishing for future generations. The TRCP and our conservation partners are actively engaged in policy debates, seeking solutions for domestic energy development by participating in all levels of policy development. Here, we present policy and management solutions to balance energy development with fish and wildlife. Notably, we highlight the need for better pre-development planning and landscape-scale approaches to mitigation. By working both the local and national levels, sportsmen are able to ensure fish and wildlife are adequately managed during energy development.
- ItemOpen AccessClimate change vulnerability and adpatation strategies for natural communities: pioloting methods in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2014-09) Comer, Patrick, speaker; Morisette, Jeffrey, moderator; International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, producerLand managers need a better understanding of factors that contribute to climate change (CC) vulnerability of the natural resources they manage in order to formulate adaptation strategies. They also need more opportunities to collaborate with neighboring managers and stakeholders to develop common adaptation strategies. Analysis of natural communities shared across land ownerships provides one mechanism for this collaboration. NatureServe worked with public and private partners in the U.S. and Mexico to conduct CC vulnerability assessments of major upland and aquatic community types in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. This project piloted a new Habitat Climate Change Vulnerability Index (HCCVI), drawing on data from other research efforts. The HCCVI aims to implement a series of measures addressing climate change exposure and ecological resilience for each community type for its distribution within a given ecoregion. The combined relative scores for exposure and resilience determine the categorical estimate of climate change vulnerability by the year 2060 (i.e., 50 years into the future) for a community type. While the overall index score should be useful for regional and national priority-setting and reporting, the results of these individual analyses also provide insight for local managers for climate change adaptation. In this pilot effort, field specialists were gathered in a workshop setting to refine the assessments, clarify their thinking on CC scenarios and stressors, and document potential strategies along a continuum from immediate 'no regrets' actions to 'anticipated' or 'wait and watch' actions to monitor. By focusing on major natural community types, pragmatic strategies were identified.
- ItemOpen AccessColorado's prairie future: oil and gas forecasts, wildlife impacts, and solutions(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2014-09) Kram, Megan, speaker; Pague, Chris, speaker; Belinda, Steve, moderator; International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, producerThis project is designed to inspire conversations among oil and gas companies and government agencies about how best to achieve goals for wildlife conservation and oil and gas development across eastern Colorado's vast prairie grasslands. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) developed this project based on its "Development by Design" methodology (http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/urgentissues/smart-development/) and with input from a variety of external partners. The project spans all of eastern Colorado (30 million acres) and includes three components: A forecast of oil and gas development, potential risk to wildlife, and an assessment of "Available Practices for Wildlife." Project results may be used to avoid, minimize, and mitigate potential impacts to wildlife through site-specific oil and gas drilling plans, the use of best management practices, etc. Those interested in this project may include oil and gas companies; landowners; and local, state, and federal government agencies within and outside of Colorado.
- ItemOpen AccessDrought risk and adaptation in the Interior(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2014-09) Morisette, Jeffrey, speaker; Morisette, Jeffrey, moderator; International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, producerDrought is part of the normal climate variability in the Great Plains and Intermountain Western United States, but recent severe droughts along with climate change projections have increased the interest and need for better understanding of drought science and decision making. The purpose of this study is to understand how the U.S. Department of the Interior's (DOI) federal land and resource managers and their stakeholders (i.e., National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Indian Affairs and tribes, among others) are experiencing and dealing with drought in their landscapes. The Drought Risk and Adaptation in the Interior (DRAI) project is part of a DOI-sponsored North Central Climate Science Center (NC CSC) crosscutting science initiative on drought across the Center's three foundational science areas: 1. Physical climate, 2. Ecosystems impacts and responses, and 3. Human adaptation and decision making. The overarching goal is to learn more about drought within the DOI public lands and resource management in order to contribute to both the NC CSC regional science as well as providing managers and other decision makers with the most salient, credible, and legitimate research to support land and resource management decisions. Here we will present the project approach along with some initial insights (with a focus on grazing lands and related DOI/tribal resource management) learned from the research to date along with its utility for climate adaptation.
- ItemOpen AccessHard choices in agriculture under climate uncertainty: risk & decision analysis applied to climate adaptation(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2014-09) Travis, William R., speaker; Morisette, Jeffrey, moderator; International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, producerLand managers make decisions under great uncertainty, subject to climate variability, extreme events, and underlying climate change. Two cases are briefly described: A northern Great Plains wheat farmer expects value in switching from spring wheat to winter wheat because it pays more and offers better game bird habitat, but the switch depends on reduced chances of winter kill as the climate slowly warms. When does it pay to make the switch? Second, a rancher has to decide during the first year of drought whether to cull the herd or hold on, hoping that next year is better, a decision that involves contingent market conditions, feed prices, and effects on forage quality for the cattle and wildlife. The farmer faces a classic expected utility problem, with the added challenge that average conditions are not a good guide to the cost/loss prospects. The rangeland drought is a game theory problem because the rancher must consider not just the probability of drought next year, but also the actions of other ranchers this year, which affect both prices now and the potential costs of feed in the future. What information and decision support tools would help these land managers make choices under climate uncertainty?
- ItemOpen AccessOpportunities and challenges to energy development on a ranch in western Colorado - developing a model for conservation and mixed use(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2014-09) Stewart, Scott, speaker; Belinda, Steve, moderator; International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, producerThe High Lonesome Ranch (HLR) is a privately owned ranch of 38,000 deed acres and an additional 205,000 acres of leased public land in western Colorado. In 2011 the HLR and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) entered into an agreement to work together towards a model approach to how energy development can be planned and implemented at landscape level to achieve a better balance between energy and other values. Though the implementation of the TRCP's 'FACTS for Fish and Wildlife' recommendations and working with stakeholders under a process that identifies and plans for current and future needs for everyone, we believe that the conflict that exists in many other areas can be reduced or eliminated. Plans are developed and implemented for landscapes not projects or individual wells and through mitigation (Avoidance, minimization and compensation) a 'net conservation benefit' can be achieved while producing energy resources. HLR is also employing the use of conservation tools through federal and state agencies for the management of focal species (sage grouse, mule deer) and be the first ranch in Colorado to have a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for greater sage grouse that addresses all threats to the species. HLR believes it is their responsibility to manage energy and wildlife to benefit all current and future needs with a proactive approach that prevents conflict on the entire 400 square mile landscape.
- ItemOpen AccessPrivate landowner involvement - making a difference in energy development outcomes(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2014-09) Taggart, Craig, speaker; Belinda, Steve, moderator; International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, producerThis session will showcase two examples of success landowners have had in constructively addressing energy development on private and leased public lands. These project examples illustrate tools and models that can be employed to assist in protecting the wildlife and other natural values of your lands. The first example is a demonstration project that was developed and employed by members of the Chama Peak Land Alliance in southern Colorado when faced with impending energy development. This planning tool was successful in identifying sensitive wildlife and environmental conditions from the perspective of the private landowner community, providing leverage for protection. This tool is a straight-forward model that can be widely adapted to your local conditions. The second illustrates a range of best management practices (BMPs) employed by a landowner to protect the sensitive wildlife and natural resource values that he stewards on his land. These are a collection of techniques that focus on minimizing disturbance and visibility in this state-of-the-art development that has been widely acclaimed by private landowners, as well as government and industry representatives.
- ItemOpen AccessPublic and communal land considerations in response to climate changes: reflections from the US national climate assessment and the Great Plains region(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2014-09) Ojima, Dennis, speaker; Morisette, Jeffrey, moderator; International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, producerDrought is a frequent feature in climate dynamics of the Great Plains. The manner in which drought has impacted various communities and livelihoods differ across the region and historically as drought intensity and changes in land and water resource management has changed over time. Recent assessments of drought impacts and response strategies have been completed for the Great Plains as part of the National Climate Assessment and will be presented in the context of private and communal land implications.
- ItemOpen AccessUSDA regional climate hubs and long-term agro-ecosystem research (LTAR) network(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2014-09) Derner, Justin D., speaker; International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, producerFormation of Long-Term Agro-ecosystem Research (LTAR) networks in 2012 and the USDA Regional Climate Hubs in 2014 provide networks to address climate change and agriculture. Eighteen sites in the LTAR network address, through replicated experimental designs, common problems of how to "Sustain or Enhance Productivity, Profitability, and Ecosystem Services in Agro-ecosystems and Agricultural Landscapes" for "business as usual" and "aspirational agriculture" management strategies. Common core measurements will be taken (e.g., productivity; carbon, water and energy fluxes; greenhouse gas measurements; wind and water erosion) and used for cross-site comparisons, meta-analyses with other network data (e.g., National Ecological Observatory Network, NEON; Long-Term Ecological Research, LTER), and in model simulations/projections for predicted climate scenarios. Data will feed into 7 USDA Regional Climate Hubs, tasked with enhancing decisions by agricultural producers on the ground to reduce enterprise risk, increase resilience of lands, improve soil health, and increase efficiency of production (e.g., more crop per drop) in a changing climate, including more frequent extreme events. Climate-smart decisions, such as matching stocking/grazing decisions to improved predictions of seasonal weather (precipitation and temperature) or matching appropriate crops to predicted growing seasons (including earlier onset of growing season and increased frost free days), are reliant on development and transfer of science-based, region-specific information and technologies through coordinated efforts with local and regional partners in Federal and state agencies, NGOs, private companies, and Tribes. Information transfer can include: trusted sources of Extension, state climatologists; modification of existing conservation programs through NRCS or others; and peer-to-peer communications through social media.
- ItemOpen AccessWind power from Tribal lands: given uncertainties in hydropower(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2014-09) Gough, Bob, speaker; Morisette, Jeffrey, moderator; International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, producerIn the midst of accelerating climatic change and observed weather extremes due to long-term natural variation, as well as our more recent and all-too-efficient anthropogenic transfer of carbon from the earth to the atmosphere, Great Plains Indian Tribes see tremendous clean energy and economic development opportunities on the horizon for mitigation and adaptation literally blowing in the wind. Our centralized electrical energy generation capacity is highly water dependent and our transmission and distribution infrastructure, built over the last half-century, is strung out and exposed across the volatile Upper Great Plains. They are extremely vulnerable and highly susceptible to changes in precipitation and other weather variabilities over both the short and long-term. Our electrical generating capacity inextricably relies upon the surface water resources throughout the Missouri River basin to fuel the federal hydropower generators, and to spin and cool the conventional coal and nuclear thermal plants throughout the region. Our rural transmission and distribution systems that deliver electricity are exposed across vast distances and are extremely vulnerable to a variety of weather related disruptions. American Indian Reservations are also spread across this vast expanse where wind, one of America's most abundant renewable energy resources, can be readily tapped through both community-sized, and large, utility-scaled, distributed generation projects. The economic integration of this variable but abundant resource into the coal and hydropower dominated electrical system can benefit from better planning and forecasting in both the short and long term. This paper examines some critical planning and forecasting issues raised in this context.