Mountain ecosystems within our national parks and other protected areas provide valuable goods and services such as clean water, biodiversity conservation, and recreational opportunities, but their potential responses to expected climatic changes are inadequately understood. The Western Mountain Initiative (WMI) is a collaboration of scientists whose research focuses on understanding and predicting responses of western mountain ecosystems to climatic variability and change. It is a legacy of the Global Change Research Program initiated by the National Park Service (NPS) in 1991 and continued by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to this day as part of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (http://www.climatescience.gov/). All WMI scientists are active participants in CIRMOUNT, and seek to further its goals.