Utah DWR and BLM Colorado Plateau Step-Down Project
CBI is working with Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) and The Bureau of Land Management to develop decision support models to inform current conservation initiatives in Utah and throughout the Colorado Plateau ecoregion. Based on previous REA (Rapid Ecoregional Assessment) work, CBI is updating the existing terrestrial landscape and aquatic intactness models for the Colorado Plateau ecoregion as well as updating habitat profiles for a number of identified conservation elements of interest (largely native species and communities). CBI is extending the models to cover the entire state of Utah as well as fine-tuning the models to be more effective at answering different management questions over smaller geographic areas.
CBI is also updating a previously created climate stress logic model with the most recent climate data from the 5th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report as well as carryout some new analyses. For example, mapping potential climate refugia – areas where plants and animals may find shelter from changes in climatic conditions. CBI is also examining past and future climate variability to model climate velocity, which is the speed along the Earth’s surface needed to maintain constant climate conditions with the rationale being that species survival may depend as much on keeping pace with moving climate as the climate’s ultimate persistence. Results of the climate modeling will illustrate at the landscape level the degree to which locations in the landscape will be impacted by climate stress over the next century and help estimate the likelihood that certain species will survive shifting suitable habitat conditions.