The Paris Climate Agreement sets targets for the future. Graphic, World Resources Insititute
Biden Administration Tackles the Climate Crisis
Paris Climate Agreement
On January 20, 2021, President Biden sent a strong message about his commitment to addressing climate change and reducing carbon emissions by reentering the Paris Climate Agreement. President Biden and his administration specifically addressed the importance of public lands in this effort through additional executive and administrative actions.
Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science
On January 20, President Biden also signed an Executive Order addressing protecting public health and restoring science to combat the climate crisis. Per the Order, the United States and the world face a climate crisis. That crisis must be met with action on a scale and at a speed commensurate with the need to avoid setting the world on a dangerous, potentially catastrophic, climate trajectory.
Right now is a decisive time for our wildlife, forests, canyons and meadows. Climate change is real. Wildlife and even plant life are on the move as changing climatic conditions force them to shift locations to maintain their preferred habitat.
This movement is often impeded by manmade barriers: roads, commercial developments, areas that have been intensively logged, mined, or drilled for oil and natural gas; and simply by an intensified human presence on the land as our state population grows. However, central Colorado is fortunate to have many large roadless areas that are potential havens for nature, for biodiversity, for fully functional ecosystems, for our native plants and animals.
But here are the big questions...
Which of these areas will be the most resilient to withstand the changes in our climate?
Which will provide enough space unaffected by human activity for summer and winter range, for birthing and migration?
Which will provide enough time – decades and longer – for plants and animals to exercise their innate ability to adapt to changing conditions?
Where will rare species of wildlife, from lynx to butterflies, have the best chance to flourish?
CLIMATE REFUGIA Graphic from: Morelli TL, Daly C, Dobrowski SZ, Dulen DM, Ebersole JL, Jackson ST, et al.
Wild Connections Climate Planning video
January 26, 2021 Zoom presentation
Alison Gallensky presented Wild Connections approach to climate modeling and how various scenarios might play out in key locations in our region. View the 50 minute video on the Events page or go to YouTubehttps://youtu.be/EpEKzo9ay4k
Current Biodiversity modeling from Interactive Map. Click image to go to the map.
The many data layers that are used in the climate planning project can be utrned on or off in the Interactive Map at
Wild Connections recognizes that our region is the acnestral lands of the Ute, Arapaho and Cheyenne peoples.
The New Normal – Changing Climate and Our Forests
Karl Ford, Wild Connections Board Member
This has been a remarkable year and not in a good way. We are dealing with a pandemic the likes of which have not been seen for a century. We are having a reckoning of centuries of racial injustice. And we saw the mob breaching the doors of the Capitol to temporarily stop the certification of President-Elect Biden and Vice-President-Elect Harris, followed by the 2nd impeachment of President Trump!
All are serious matters for every American. And there are other matters that require our attention in 2021.
On a millennial scale, our forests and ecosystems are dealing with changes that may affect us for generations to come. It is such a gradual, insidious change that many Coloradoans may not notice nor connect the dots. I am talking about wildfire, forest mortality and climate change.
Over 640,000 acres of Colorado forests burned in 2020; the most in state history. With but one respite, all summer and fall we were besieged with smoke, oppressive heat and murky skies. The Cameron Peak, East Troublesome and Pine Gulch fires assumed first, second and third places in largest mega-fires in state history. "The Centennial State finally got some much-needed relief from the flames when snow dusted the mountains on October 25, but in the end, Colorado’s wildfires cost the state well north of $200 million in fire-suppression efforts." (5280, Dec 15, 2020)
Wild Connections' mission is to identify, protect, and restore wildlands, native species, and biological diversity in the Arkansas and South Platte watersheds. They are the ancestral lands of the Ute, Cheyenne, Arapaho and other indigenous peoples.