Tribal communities are particularly at-risk to the future impacts of climate change. For example, as climate change contributes to weather extremes Tribal communities may experience severe drought and heat waves, more intense wildfires, and heavier rainfall and snowfall events.
In order to anticipate what specific impacts the Tribe may have to grapple with in the coming years, the Environmental Department partnered with the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) and attended a climate change adaptation planning course. This training opportunity was valuable not only because it allowed staff to brainstorm the potential impacts that Tribal communities may sustain, but also develop mitigation strategies that could adequately address these potential impacts.
Armed with this information, the Department has since formed a Climate Change work group. Its inaugural meeting in early 2016 has helped to facilitate focused conversations between the Tribe and its professional staff regarding the anticipated impacts of climate change. The work group meets on a quarterly basis and aims to prepare a Tribal Council-approved Climate Change Adaptation Plan. The work group’s agenda, meeting notes, and objectives can be found below.
If you are trying to initiate your own Tribal Climate Change work group, we would be happy to share our experiences in getting this work group off the ground, as well as our continued development of this plan. Contact the Environmental Department for more information.