Our team focuses on climate solutions that are ecologically, culturally, and economically just. We search for win-wins that can help solve problems that needed to be addressed regardless of the changing climate. The Tribe is focused on climate-change mitigation and adaptation efforts that will build resiliency into the Nez Perce Lands.
Climate Change Vulnerability
Wildfire is part of healthy ecosystems, but larger, hotter fires during droughts are changing ecosystems in the Nez Perce Homelands.
Climate Change Adaptation Planning
Climate Change staff are working to prepare maps, data, and summaries to assist tribal resource managers who are already coping with the impacts of climate change.
Climate and Culturally Smart Conservation
Climate and Culturally Smart Conservation Projects are culturally focused conservation projects that honor traditional knowledge, through the study, protection, and restoration of culturally relevant ecosystems, wildlife, plants, and practices. The Restoration Toolkit for Ecological and Cultural Resilience provides a tool to include climate change and culture in wetland and riparian restoration planting design.
Camas to Condors Climate Change Adaptation Project
The Camas to Condors Climate Change Adaptation Project is a Landscape Level Conservation Project designed to increase connectivity, resilience, and resources for tribal members from the Blue Mountains to the Bitterroots.
History of Climate Change Planning at the Tribe
The Tribe has been working on climate change for decades, from sequestering carbon in forests to responding to the impacts of changing ocean conditions, stream temperatures, and flow on fish. The current climate change program started after the 2015 drought and fish kill. The climate team is determined to have a meaningful, long-term adaptation program that helps the tribe assess, vision, plan, and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Climate Change Education Resources
At the 2018 Idaho Environmental Education Association Conference in Lewiston, we presented information about teaching climate science for educators. The link below will be to the materials presented at that conference (coming soon!). Quality resources for teaching young children about the global climate system, how it relates to our daily weather, and our quality of life abound, but there is misinformation out. Climate change is complicated and can be confusing. We put together a resource list for teachers that provides the best information available. We hope to be able to provide quality resources for any age to learn more.
For Adults and Tribal Members the best easy resource to learn more about future projections is the Tribal Climate Change Toolkit created by the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group Tribal Climate Desk.
For young children here are just a couple of suggestions for outside resources. Of course, the best local resource is elders and community members who can tell stories about how the weather used to be like, and what the timing of events of nature used to be like. However, there are some good resources.
NPTEC Climate Change and Energy Subcommittee
In 2019, the Tribe formed a Climate Change and Energy Subcommittee under NPTEC in order to focus on mitigating the impacts of climate change on the Tribe, Tribal enterprises, and Treaty Reserved Resources. The subcommittee is currently chaired by Casey Mitchell and is working to bring sovereignty, resiliency, and sustainability in relation to energy systems, food systems, and cultural aspects of life. The committee is committed to seeking funds for meaningful projects to support Tribal priorities and tribal members dealing with climate change.
Climate Change Team
Stefanie developed a love of nature growing up in the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico. She received a Master’s degree in Ecology from the University of Michigan in 2005 and traveled the world to learn first-hand about birds, wildlife, ecosystems, and people. When she is not working, she enjoys fixing up her old house and spending time outdoors with her family.
Thomas Tall Bull
Andrea (AJ) Whiteplume
Dr. Eric Walsh
Dr. Karla Eitel
Amber is a former employee who made invaluable contributions to the Climate Change Program. She co-authored the vulnerability assessment, was instrumental in conducting research related to socioeconomic vulnerability measures, developed an assessment tool for cultural resources, successfully wrote grants, and built lasting relationships among the many stakeholders involved in the project.
The Tribe’s Resilience Program would not be possible without the support of the BIA, EPA, USDA NIFA, and the Network for Landscape Conservation.
In addition, many partners, scientists, and friends have helped us along the way. The University of Idaho, the UW Climate Impacts Group, the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, the BIA Tribal Resilience Support, and many staff and tribal members have helped this project. Thank you!