Nisqually at Powell Creek.  Credit:  Nisqually River Council.

Nisqually at Powell Creek. Credit: Nisqually River Council.

Climate Solutions Univeristy, a national program bringing climate adapatation planning capacity to local communities, has announced that they are bringing their resources to adaptation planning in Cascadia in 2014 through a focus on the Nisqually River.  In partnership with the Nisqually River Council, the program run by Climate Solutions University will increase regional resilience to climate change guided by Model Forest Policy Program’s experts and proven process.

The Nisqually River Watershed stretches from the summit of Mount Rainier to the shores of Puget Sound, and includes the Nisqually Tribal home. The Nisqually Watershed provides over 80% of the city of Olympia’s drinking water. The watershed is also home to some of the last intact western Washington prairie systems & has extensive forests.

To engage in this climate adaptation planning the Nisqually River Council will partner with relevant agencies in the city of Olympia, WA to increase the watershed’s resilience to climate change.  “For the past 25 years we have worked to preserve, protect, and promote the Nisqually watershed. In 2003 we completed a comprehensive update to our Nisqually River Management Plan.  We realized we had not created a plan for working with climate change,” said Justin Hall, Executive Director of Nisqually River Council. “Climate Solutions University presented the perfect opportunity to fill that niche. We are very excited to bring stakeholders together around this issue and come up with a common set of solutions.”

We look forward to what strategies emerge from this effort in the coming year, and what repeatable examples we can learn to bring to other watersheds throughout Cascadia.

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