As climate change increasingly shapes western ecosystems—with events from frequent and severe wildfires to enduring droughts—managers need evidence-based approaches they can rely on to strengthen ecosystem climate resilience into the future.
Pinyon-juniper woodlands are ubiquitous across the Intermountain West and important to many–from Tribal Nations and recreationists to pinyon jays and mule deer. However, concern has arisen among researchers and managers about their vulnerability to a warming and drying climate. Managers have indicated that they often lack the information needed to guide climate-smart management in woodland ecosystems. Although substantial conservation efforts address threats to other dry forests in the West, relatively little conservation effort has focused on climate resilience of persistent woodlands.
The Intermountain West Joint Venture partnered with the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a new report titled “Improving Climate Resilience of Persistent Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands.” This report highlights recent science on primary threats to persistent woodlands, identifies the role of changing climate, and highlights new efforts and approaches to develop management strategies focusing on building pinyon-juniper woodland health and climate resilience.