Climate Change, Forestry and Wildlife Summary
Moderated by Steve Vavrus
Summary prepared by studen scribes and Jessie Conaway
- Elder knowledge, resilience of Nations
- Menominee hosted a climate adaptation summit in October 2014 – a collaborative partnership, good example.
- Human health effects from climate change: extreme weather, heat stress, asthma, Lyme disease – other offset impacts on human health; indirect effects on wildlife: changes to landcover, ecosystem type, types of phenology.
- Protection of water quality and food sources is a priority – wild rice, fish, maple syrup production, etc. How do we prioritize these issues?
- Sovereignty>>Framing resource loss due to anthropogenic environmental crises in terms of treaty rights
- Is climate change a here and now problem, or a future problem? One issue is the ability to use ceded territory rights. What ways can we show how climate change will impact ability of tribal members to use treaty rights? We see it as our inherent responsibility to make sure we have the ability to exercise our rights. We think we're seeing decreasing fish populations – what we see from our perspective is indigenous people are getting blamed for impacts of climate change; a warming up of lakes, which make it less suitable for wildlife, and exercising rights is 'taking all the fish'. The problem of indigenous rights at risk due to reduced natural resources (treaty rights).
- Mapping indigenous ecological knowledge through GIS – seasons, locations, resources
- Chronicling of stories and phenological data
- Communicate traditional knowledge and stories to tell that story in mapping (with tribal elders' stories) to convey impacts of climate change, as they are able to tell us about actual impacts within their lifetime. Incorporating indigenous knowledge with climate models and projections.
- Economic impacts of climate change on each tribe
- We need data, research, assessment, models developed that incorporate and other traditional ecological knowledge that is trusted by tribal membership.
- Seeking funding for research and community programs through NSF and EPA
Need for education:
- MOOCs or other online teaching tools, esp. by working with tribal colleges
- Need for community education
- Starting a conversation between tribal and non-tribal members throughout northern Wisconsin, conveying a cohesive message.
Short-term plans (2 months out)
- Why are there changes in ecology and population dynamics of natural resources in lakes as a result of climate change? We need research and experts to show impacts of climate change on lakes so we can maintain the right to a modest, sustainable harvest of those resources.
- Pursue funding and grants for this research. A need for grant-writing, building capacity.
Mid-term to long-term plans (6 months out)
- Research questions: How is climate change affecting lakes and natural resources, e.g. fish populations? Which factors affect fish populations – temperature, run-off, etc.; What are the economic impacts of climate change on tribes?
- Seeking funding from major agencies (NOAA, EPA, NSF) that have major grants for collaborative research groups partnering with tribes (ex: in Oklahoma and Cherokee climatic research center) – opportunity for large-scale collaboration in Wisconsin.
- Phenology projects – phenology and other records to demonstrate changing climate across Wisconsin.
- Use GIS to map traditional knowledge and ecology merged onto where climate change is supposed to happen the most in the state.
- Emphasis on MOOC or similar, targeted online learning courses and tools for tribal members. Work with tribal colleges with infrastructure and indigenous knowledge.