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The Wind River Indian Reservation’s Vulnerability to the Impacts of Drought and the Development of Decision Tools to Support Drought Preparedness

A North Central CSC Funding Opportunity 2015 Project
Principal Investigator
Cody Knutson

Dates

Start Date
2015-06-01
End Date
2018-03-31
Release Date
2015

Summary

The Wind River Indian Reservation in west-central Wyoming is home to the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes, who reside near and depend on water from the streams that feed into the Wind River. In recent years, however, the region has experienced frequent severe droughts, which have impacted tribal livelihoods and cultural activities. Scientists with the North Central Climate Science Center at Colorado State University, the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and several other university and agency partners are working closely with tribal water managers to assess how drought affects the reservation, integrating social, ecological, and hydro-climatological sciences with local knowledge. [...]

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Copyright_ShannonMcNeeley.pdf
“Copyright_McNeeley”
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NC-2015-4_WindRiver_DroughtPreparedness_ShannonMcNeeley.jpg
“Wind River - Credit: Shannon McNeeley”
thumbnail 967.06 KB

Purpose

This project will conduct an interdisciplinary, technical assessment of key social-ecological vulnerabilities, risks, and response capacities of the Wind River Indian Reservation (WRIR) to inform development of decision tools to support drought preparedness. It will also provide opportunities for 1) development of tribal technical capacity for drought preparedness, and 2) educational programming guided by tribal needs, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), and indigenous observations of drought for tribal members, with a longer-term goal of transferring lessons learned to other tribes and non-tribal entities. This project has foundational partnerships between the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes of the WRIR, the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the North Central Climate Science Center (NCCSC) at Colorado State University and multiple government agencies and university partners to develop decision tools to support drought preparedness. The project’s decision target is a WRIR Drought Management Plan that integrates state-of-the art climate science with hydrologic, social, and ecological vulnerabilities and risks, and identifies response capacities and strategies to support the Tribal Water Code and related resources management.

Project Extension

parts
typeTechnical Summary
valueThe Wind River Indian Reservation (WRIR) in west-central Wyoming is home to the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes who reside near and depend on snowpack and glacier-fed tributaries to the Wind River, headwaters of the Missouri Basin. The region experiences frequent, severe drought events that cause devastating impacts to the social and ecological systems. The WRIR does not have an established process for collecting drought-related data or managing drought conditions. Therefore, this project will conduct an assessment of key climatological and social-ecological vulnerabilities, risks, and response capacities of the WRIR to inform the development of a drought management plan. This is essential for allocating critical water resources to meet agricultural and other societal needs while maintaining ecosystem health. It will be guided by tribal needs, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and indigenous observations of drought, and will utilize collaborative community outreach and education efforts. The project will apply innovative vulnerability assessment models and methods and serve as a leading example for other tribes’ drought preparedness. The project team will leverage the activities of several state and federal agencies in the region to achieve project goals. This project will add to the scientific base of integrated social-ecological-climate vulnerability assessment, as well as document the process and “lessons learned” to be transferred to other tribes and vulnerable communities throughout the north central region and beyond.
projectStatusCompleted

Budget Extension

annualBudgets
year2015
totalFunds264333.02
year2016
totalFunds129285.33
parts
typeAgreement Type
valueGrant
typeAgreement Number
valueG15AP00074
totalFunds393618.35000000003

Wind River - Credit: Shannon McNeeley
Wind River - Credit: Shannon McNeeley

Map

Spatial Services

ScienceBase WMS

Communities

  • National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers
  • North Central CASC

Associated Items

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Additional Information

Identifiers

Type Scheme Key
RegistrationUUID NCCWSC cc432490-1f69-45ec-aa56-ccdc6ec58c53
StampID NCCWSC NC14-KC0085

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