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Water source protection funds as a tool to address climate adaptation and resiliency in southwestern forestsAuthor(s): Laura Falk McCarthy
Source: In: Sample, V. Alaric; Bixler, R. Patrick, eds. Forest conservation and management in the Anthropocene: Conference proceedings. Proceedings. RMRS-P-71. Fort Collins, CO: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 329-343.
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: View PDF (1.69 MB)
DescriptionWildfire intensity in the Southwestern United States has increased over the last decade corresponding with dense fuels and higher temperatures. For example, in New Mexico on the 2011 Las Conchas fire, intense fire and wind-driven fire behavior resulted in large areas of moderate and high severity burn (42 percent of burned area) with roughly 65,000 acres (26,300 ha) left largely without green trees or seed sources. Monsoon rains fell in several drainages that sustained high severity burn, and these moderate rainfall events triggered massive debris flows. Debris from one canyon deposited 70 feet of ash at the confluence with the Rio Grande. The cities of Albuquerque and Santa Fe stopped using river water for municipal needs for 40 and 20 days, respectively, demonstrating the significant impact of wildfire and post-fire debris flow on municipal water users. This paper examines two case studies in New Mexico that have applied or are seeking to apply the water fund model to watersheds dominated by national forest system lands. The first case study is the Santa Fe Water Source Protection Fund established in 2009, and the second case study is the Middle Rio Grande and Forested Watersheds Fund, expected to launch in July 2014. Both case studies illustrate multiple sectors of government and community interests responding to the need to protect water sources, and joining together to generate the financial resources for rapid action to improve forest resiliency in the face of climate change.
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CitationMcCarthy, Laura Falk. 2014. Water source protection funds as a tool to address climate adaptation and resiliency in southwestern forests. In: Sample, V. Alaric; Bixler, R. Patrick, eds. Forest conservation and management in the Anthropocene: Conference proceedings. Proceedings. RMRS-P-71. Fort Collins, CO: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 329-343.
Keywordsforest conservation, management, Anthropocene, climate change
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