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And Five More Adaptation Planning Ideas

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Bruce Riordan sent us his “unofficial takeaways” from the climate change adaptation workshop organized by the Kresge Foundation and the Geos Institute (Portland Oregon 2012). Riordan is the Climate Strategist for the Bay Area Joint Policy Committee. Here’s an excerpt. For the longer list, send Riordan an email.

  1. It’s not “climate adaptation.” It’s protecting the health of our vulnerable seniors, keeping our critical roads, airports, etc. in use, saving our bay, making sure we have enough water (homes/agriculture/wildlife), keeping the power on through big storms…
  2. Listen first. What is important to you and your community right now? (Probably not “climate change.”) What changes–weather, animals, growing season, etc.– are you noticing in your neighborhood, community, or region?
  3. Personal relationships. We are often way too in love with our plans, strategies and science. (Problem: My slides didn’t convince them. Solution: more slides!) At least half the battle to really move a community to adaptation work is who trusts you, who you know, etc. Similarly, a few great and trusted champions can turn a whole room.
  4. Mainstreaming. Make sure that climate impacts are not seen as something separate and exotic, but are integral parts of general plans, zoning codes, hazard/disaster mitigation plans, transportation plans, infrastructure maintenance plans, etc. Show overworked public agency staff that they are already considering/doing some of things–now climate adds another element or twist.
  5. Is this plan necessary? Most local government planning departments aren’t exactly awash in resources these days. A call for a comprehensive adaptation plan may go 100% nowhere or, if undertaken, become just a recipe for “shelf candy.” Instead, look at the 2-3 most pressing issues in a community and focus on them first. Or, pick one initial topic that looks like an easy winner.

Backcountry thinning is not the way to healthy forests

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November 20, 2011
By Dennis Odion
and Dominick DellaSala

As scientists who have studied wildfires in our area, we are concerned that information provided to the public about fire management is not based on sound science. This has led to counterproductive actions and left the most important fire management needs unaddressed. Read more…

GIS Helps Create ClimateWise Communities

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Matt Ball | Spatial Sustain

The Geos Institute, based in Ashland, Oregon, has developed tools and methodology to help communities respond and adapt to the pressures of climate change. Yesterday, I attended a presentation at the GIS in the Rockies by Jessica Leonard, geospatial analyst at the institute, and learned more about their approach and their projects. Leonard stated at the start of her talk that, “GIS helps us become visionary rather than reactionary.”

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Spotted owl recovery plan due by end of week

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Conservation groups, logging industry critical of draft as Friday deadline nears

The Bulletin
By Jeff Barnard / The Associated Press

GRANTS PASS — After months of tinkering, the Obama administration is due out this week with its last-ditch plan for saving the northern spotted owl from extinction.  Read more…

Climate report forsees dire effects

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Susan Palmer | Eugene Register-Guard

Almost every aspect of life in the southern Willamette Valley could feel the effects of climate change, a report released today says.

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MMT Editorial: Time To Act Locally

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Editorial Board | Medford Mail Tribune

It can be daunting to wrap one’s mind around the concept of global climate change. It’s easy to see the threats posed by melting glaciers and endangered polar bears, but it’s harder to understand what that means to us here in the Rogue Valley, or what we can or should do about it.

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Climate change could hit Rogue Valley hard

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Scott Learn | The Oregonian

If global warming continues unabated, summer temperatures in the Rogue River Valley could rise up to 15 degrees by 2080, making the weather in the southern Oregon valley similar to Sacramento’s, Oregon researchers said in a report released today.

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Rogue Basin Climate Change Impact Report At A Glance

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Medford Mail Tribune 

Expected increases in year-round temperatures of up to 3 degrees Fahrenheit by 2040 and up to 8 degrees by 2080. Summertime high temperatures are likely to rise by up to 15 degrees by 2080.

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