Klamath-Siskiyou Climate Refuge
Home to spectacular wild rivers, vast forests, and a rich array of plants and wildlife, the Klamath-Siskiyou region is a refuge for nature. As the climate changes, the stress on forests, water, and wildlife threatens life and communities across the planet. There is room for optimism. If we are proactive, we can lessen the impacts and ensure that this region of steep mountains, big trees, and wild rivers – spanning the Oregon/California border – continues to serve as a refuge for nature. We must convince our leaders to take swift action to conserve nature and prepare our communities for the coming changes. (Visit our Climate Refuge site coming soon!)
The Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion—covering an area bigger than the state of Maryland—is home to rugged mountainous terrain in southern Oregon and northern California. The region is a known as a biological hot spot and a region of immense natural wealth. This land of big trees and wild rivers is home to Pacific fisher, northern pygmy owl, mountain lion, Siskiyou Mountain salamander, bald and golden eagles, salmon, and thousands of other lifeforms.
Alarmingly, climate change poses a fundamental threat to the life and character of the region. As temperatures rise, precipitation will shift, snowpack disappear, droughts worsen, and fire seasons will lengthen. In the future climate, wildlife species must adapt, move away, or they will perish.
The stakes are high, but there is room for optimism. Proactive and scientifically-informed land management has the potential to dampen the worst effects of climate change. Action must be swift. The science informs us that we need to protect all remaining mature and old-growth forests, all remaining roadless areas, protect and restore streamside habitats, maximize habitat connections, and the minimize the human stressors on the landscape (mining, logging, road-building, habitat fragmentation, etc.).
Most vitally perhaps, “climate refuges” in the region must be protected. Climate refuges (refugia) are places with favorable and stable conditions (often cool and moist) where species can persist despite an increasingly unfavorable regional climate. Climate refuges occur in complex and mature forests, on north-facing slopes, in streamside corridors, in places where cold air pools, and in persistently wet areas.
The Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion is our shared and priceless heritage. Together, we can generate the political will necessary to protect these lands and waters for the betterment of current and future generations. Time is of the essence. We hope you’ll join us.