Climate Resiliency in the Clackamas River Basin
As global temperatures continue to rise, there is increased interest in understanding how these changes, in global and regional climate, will impact the ecological integrity and resiliency of the forests in the Clackamas River Basin. Higher temperatures, altered precipitation patterns and other climate-related disturbances also have the potential to impact the region’s ability to provide valuable ecosystem services to the local community.
Stakeholders rely on the fresh water provided by the Clackamas River for drinking, recreation use and irrigation. The Clackamas River is dependent on seasonal snowmelt in order to annually provide these water resources. Climate models show the potential for less snow precipitation in the future. These changing climatic conditions have the potential to increase the susceptibility of the basin to larger and more frequent wildfires—threatening the sustainability of these forest to provide critical ecosystems services. The forested watersheds in the Clackamas Basin help provide clean water acting as a large natural filter by minimizing soil erosion, reducing sediment and absorbing pollutants