I came across this report that seems worth passing along. Something to think about while we wait for the Rio Grande National Forest to come out with their overdue Environmental Assessment of the Red McComb's Alberta Park land swap proposal.
This seems a fitting reminder that we are living in the 2010s and our natural and business world is rapidly changing before our eyes - beware of 1980s speculative pipe dreams - their time has passed into yesteryear. The future needs as much of the Rio Grande River watershed and riparian system protected as possible.
Red McComb's plan only promises destruction of that all important high mountain watershed and biologically productive wetlands with unavoidable damaging consequences to all down stream users of the interstate, international Rio Grande River.
Confronting Climate-driven Impacts from Insects, Wildfires, Heat, and Drought
Americans revere the Rocky Mountains for their aesthetic, environmental, and economic value. The Rockies are home to some of the crown jewels of the national park system, including Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier, and Rocky Mountain National Parks.
Today, however, the forests of the Rocky Mountains are facing a triple assault: tree-killing insects, wildfires, and heat and drought. If allowed to continue unchecked, these stresses and their impacts could fundamentally alter these forests as we know them.
Human-caused global warming is driving these detri- mental effects by bringing hotter and drier conditions, which not only cause their own effects but amplify those of other stresses. An exceptionally hot and dry stretch from 1999 to 2003 produced unusually severe impacts on the region’s forests. If these trends continue, even hotter and drier con- ditions could become commonplace, leading to even greater effects on Rocky Mountain forests.
Jason Funk Stephen Saunders
Todd Sanford Tom Easley Adam Markham
[ contents ]
iv Figures, Tables, and Boxes
5 A Cherished Landscape at Risk
9 Increases in Tree-Killing Insects
13 Increases in Wildfires
19 Impacts of Heat and Dryness on Forests
24 Effects on Iconic Tree Species of the Rocky Mountains
38 Present and Future Climate Change in the Rocky Mountains
44 What We Can Do