Southern California Montane Forests Project: A Climate-Informed Conservation Strategy
Southern California’s montane forests, “sky islands” of mountain habitat that feature conifers and oak species, are fundamental from the standpoint of ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation. These forests are facing rapidly intensifying stressors and disturbances that are exacerbated by climate change. A major obstacle to the sustainability of montane forests in southern California is the absence of a coordinated strategic plan across agencies and partners. The goal of this project is to engage partners across the region in advancing our collective understanding of the vulnerabilities and challenges facing these forests and identify the opportunities and strategies for increasing forest resilience. This multi-jurisdictional project is a collaborative partnership among the Climate Science Alliance, U.S. Forest Service, Institute for Ecological Monitoring and Management at San Diego State University, and the Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center. Partners will include forest and fire managers, policy makers, the science community, Tribal partners, and other stakeholders regarding the threats to southern California’s montane forests and the ecosystem services they provide. Through collaborative planning sessions, guided by stakeholder input, we will develop a scientific assessment and create a conservation strategy for southern California’s montane forests.