Building a Climate-Informed Conservation Strategy for Southern California’s Montane Forests

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By building a community of practice among partners across the region, Southwest CASC-funded researchers advance their collective understanding of the vulnerabilities and challenges facing montane forests in Southern California and identify opportunities and strategies for increasing forest resilience. 

Mixed conifer trees in front of a mountain

Mature mixed conifers at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, CA. 

(Credit: Kirke Wrench, NPS. Public domain.)

Read the original announcement posted by the Southwest CASC, here

California montane forests are high-elevation mountain forests composed of conifer and hardwood trees that serve to protect the upper watersheds of all the major rivers in Southern California and are home to species that can be found nowhere else in the world. Yet human use, invasive species, droughts, fires, and now climate change are increasingly threatening these mountain “sky islands”.  Researchers at the Southwest CASC, in partnership with the Climate Science Alliance, U.S. Forest Service, and the Institute for Ecological Monitoring and Management at San Diego State University, plan to summarize historical data and developed future projections of California montane forests based on fire, forest growth, and climate modeling. A new webpage and project one-pager outline how through workshops, collaborative planning sessions, and tree regeneration data collection, the partners are building a community of practice, developing a forest conservation strategy and implementation options, and promoting collaboration to improve forest resilience. 

Learn more about the CASC-funded “Climate-Informed Conservation Strategy for Southern California’s Montane Forests” project, here

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