Climate change vulnerability assessment for Colorado Bureau of Land Management
Contributor(s)Colorado Natural Heritage Program
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The Colorado office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which administers 8.4 million acres of Colorado's surface acres, and more than 29 million acres of sub‐surface mineral estate, has been charged with developing a climate adaptation strategy for BLM lands within the state. The assessments presented herein present a statewide perspective on the potential future influences of a changing climate on species and ecosystems of particular importance to the BLM, with the goal of facilitating development of the best possible climate adaptation strategies to meet future conditions. The Colorado Natural Heritage Program conducted climate change vulnerability assessments of plant and animal species, and terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems ("targets") within a time frame of mid‐21st century. Our assessments 1) evaluate the potential impact of future climate conditions on both species and ecosystems by identifying the degree of change expected between current and future climate conditions within the Colorado range of the target, and 2) address the potential impact of non‐climate factors that can affect the resilience of the target to climate change, or which are likely to have a greater impact due to climate change. Climate change vulnerability assessments are not an end unto themselves, but are intended to help BLM managers identify areas where action may mitigate the effects of climate change, recognize potential novel conditions that may require additional analysis, and characterize uncertainties inherent in the process.